A Place for State Aid Rules Amid Global Financial Turmoil?

When thinking of State aid, what in the past came to mind were national subsidies for farmers, shipyards or coal mines. In other words: State aid seemed to be a rather outdated concept of industrial policy dealing with the "old economy". However, the present financial crisis not only led to global economic turmoil, but also changed the profile of possible State aid beneficiaries. First, governments throughout Europe have attempted to stabilize beleaguered banks and other financial institutions with official rescue schemes. Now the car industry is calling for public help, either for an individual company such as German cash-strapped GM unit Opel, or for the whole industry such as Italian carmaker Fiat.

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