Spain and France support non-compliance sanctions, Germany and UK oppose the measure
LUXEMBOURG New Community laws on the scrapping of ships has split the 27 countries of the European Union. The new rules are aimed at achieving the least possible environmental impact, but some the most controversial points are about sanctions against shipowners who break the rules. The EC agreed last week to continue paying the present subsidies until 2017, as well as help when a fleet is grounded temporarily. Spain thus managed to overcome opposition from some countries that had wanted to eliminate these subsidies immediately. The agreement has yet to pass the European chamber. Spains Minister for the Environment. Miguel Arias Cañete, on his arrival at the meeting said he believed "recycling of ships is important for Spain" because "it is an opportunity for our shipyards and other installations to be registered as being permitted to carry out this activity."