State budget to pay for coal mine shut down
PR dla Zagranicy
The government has prepared legislation allowing for 280 million zloty (some 67 million euro) from the state budget to be spent on shutting down the Kazimierz-Juliusz coal mine, putting over 1000 out of work.
The colliery, located in Sosnowiec, part of Poland's industrial Silesian district, belongs to Katowicki Holding Węglowy, one of the country's biggest coal producers.
The company had earlier decided that the colliery was not profitable and should be closed by the end of September.
The decision sparked a protest from employees, who also demanded the payment of overdue salaries.
On September 27, the company's management reached an agreement with the miners, who then ended their protest.
The firm agreed to find employment for the worjers in other coal mines owned by KHW.
The money set aside from the state budget is meant to cover costs of closing down the mine, including redundancy payments.
The sum will be made available through an amendment of the law on fuel quality monitoring, agreed on by a parliamentary committee on Wednesday.
As the money could be classified as state aid, which would require approval from the European Commission, the committee's president Andrzej Czerwinski declared he would consult lawyers and the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection on the case.
Meanwhile, a draft law on quality control checks, which may reduce cheap Russian coal imports to Poland, will have its first reading in parliament on Wednesday, deputy Economy Minister Tomasz Tomczykiewicz said late Tuesday, as coal miners protested outside the parliament building in Warsaw.
The conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party has called for a total ban on Russian coal imports.
Despite being a major producer, Poland imported around 11 million tonnes of coal last year, with 70 percent coming from Russia. (kw/pg)