WARSAW (Reuters) – Poland expects the European Commission to approve a plan to gradually close mines owned by its biggest coal producer PGG and provide more public aid for the industry, although experts voiced doubts.
The spread of COVID-19 among miners has added to problems facing the country’s mining industry as demand for coal falls and costs rise.
Ending weeks of negotiations on the restructuring of troubled PGG, Poland’s government struck a deal with the company’s trade unions on Friday to gradually close its coal mines by 2049.
The agreement is pending European Commission approval and Poland will ask the EU executive to allow public aid, “especially for financing ongoing production, to guarantee the stability of coal companies’ operations.”
“I would be surprised if the European Commission, considering the social approval for phasing out mining, said no,” Deputy Assets Minister Artur Sobon tolf private radio TOK FM on Monday.