Tuesday 4th November in the morning, while SNCM was about to declare its insolvency before the Commercial Court of Marseille to obtain a formal judicial recovery, the European Court of Justice recalled that the appeal by France to cancel the fines imposed by Brussels on the company “does not have suspensive effect.”
“France is (…) required to comply with the Commission’s decision and recover the aid incompatible with the rules of the Union,” said the court in a statement released Tuesday morning.
A first payment of € 220 million , corresponding to state aid granted to SNCM during its privatization in 2004, was finally confirmed by a judgment of the Court dated of 4th September , 2014. “The recovery is definitely gained ,” says the Court.
A second payment of € 220 million , corresponding to financial compensation paid to SNCM between 2007 and 2013 for services to Corsica during the “peak” is the subject of an appeal by France and the company.
It has not yet been judged but “the action for annulment before the court does not have suspensive effect”, explains the Court in a press releases.
In other words, if no one is ready to take responsibility for their refund, or if France does not get a gesture of the Commission, SNCM is at a risk of drowning.
Alexandre PAINCHAUD IEJ3E