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Complaint made by "airBaltic's" former shareholder to European Commission groundless

Bertolt Flick. Photo: Ieva Čika.
 RIGA, Nov 21 - The complaint made by Latvian national airline "airBaltic's" former shareholder - "Baltijas Aviacijas Sistemas" (BAS) - to the European Commission is groundless, and is just an act of desperate blackmail by the airline's former CEO and co-owner Bertolt Flick, Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis said in an interview on this morning's edition of the "Latvijas Neatkariga televizija" (LNT) news program "900 Seconds".
The prime minister explains that BAS and Flick are complaining about decisions that they themselves persuaded the government to make - increasing the airline's share capital. "Which we did on an equal basis," Dombrovskis said.
The prime minister pointed out that this is a destructive step taken by the airline's former shareholder, and reminded that BAS did not fulfill its contractual obligations, thus the state used its pre-emptive rights and took action.
Dombrovskis refrained from predicting what the outcome of the European Commission investigation will be, but pointed out that "airBaltic" has involved specialists and lawyers to prepare an explanation to the Commission on the baseless complaints.
As reported, the European Commission has launched an investigation to find out whether various state support measures Latvia implemented to assist the national airline "airBaltic" were in accordance with European Union regulations on state support, as the European Commission Representation in Latvia spokeswoman Sanita Jemberga told LETA yesterday.
She said that the Commission has doubts whether these measures were implemented in accordance with EU regulations, and whether such measures would have been approved by a private business entity in a market situation.
Since 2008, "airBaltic" had been experiencing financial troubles, and as a result, in 2010 and 2011, the state implemented several support measures to boost the airline.
The European Commission will investigate whether these measures were implemented in accordance with EU competition regulations and whether they gave the airline economic advantage compared with competitors in the open EU market.

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