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PR(94)19: Surveillance Authority authorises aid for restructuring of traditional Sami activities in four municipalities in Finnmark, Norway


The EFTA Surveillance Authority on 28 September authorised aid for restructuring of traditional Sami activities in the four municipalities of Karasjok, Kautokeino, Tana and Porsanger in the County of Finnmark (Norway). Having found that the amendments notified by the Norwegian Government to the Authority on two existing aid schemes for regional development are in line with the EEA provisions on State aid, the Authority has decided to authorise them under Article 61(3)(a) of the EEA Agreement.

The proposed amendments form part of a broad restructuring programme established to prepare the ground for alternative industrial activities due to the severe crisis in reindeer breeding. The amendments concern only the particular application of two existing regional development schemes respectively for aid to investment in tangible assets and "soft investment" aid for company development and training. The application of the amendments are limited to the four municipalities referred to above for the period of the Restructuring Programme for Inner Finnmark up to 3 1 December 1998. Both schemes are administered by the Ministry of Local Government and Labour.

The Authority has, by its decision not to raise objections to the notification, ­recognised the exceptional circumstances relevant to the case, in particular the severe crisis in reindeer breeding, the difficult socio‑economic circumstances, problems related to establishment of alternative industrial activities in Inner Finnmark and ILO Convention No. 169 on Indigenous and Tribal People.

For further information please contact Morten Sandberg (State Aid and Monopolies Directorate) on tel. 22 66 855.

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