The European Commission has decided to investigate the UK’s state aid to Northern Rock. No surprise, this: such a massive rescue of a bank was bound to be looked into fully. And it seems to me inconceivable that the Commission will not, ultimately, give clearance in principle, even if it requires minor adjustments to the government support regime in order to avoid market distortions. It’s worth noting that the Commission has already approved the emergency measures the government took towards the end of last year; this investigation relates to the longer-term restructuring plan being undertaken since nationalisation.
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