Parliament backs 2018 coal subsidy phase-out

State aid to coal mines must be prolonged until 2018, the European Parliament said in Strasbourg on Tuesday, calling the EU executive's proposal for a 2014 cut-off 'arbitrary'. MEPs backed a recommendation from the parliament's economic affairs committee.

A regulation exempting coal subsidies from normal state aid rules will expire in December. The EU executive proposed to extend this exemption until 2014, saying that ending the subsidies now would have "dire" social and economic consequences.

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