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Enthusiasts: Nürburgring selling needs to be re-examined

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The EU Commission must take a closer look at the sale of the Nürburgring 2014. In the opinion of the highest EU court, it did not sufficient whether the once-state plant was wrongly sold cheaper than possible.

Das Foto zeigt den Schriftzug «Nürburgring» auf der Fassade der Event-Halle Ring-Arena am Nürburgring in Nürburg. (Archivbild) © picture Alliance / dpa The photo shows the lettering «Nürburgring» on the facade of the Event Hall Ring Arena at the Nürburgring in Nürburg. (Archive image)

The car supplier Capricorn received the contract for around 77 million euros in 2014 for the legendary racetrack in the Eifel, whose expansion with a new amusement park the state of Rhineland-Palatinate had set almost half a billion euros. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) announced on Thursday, there had been "reason for consideration", which the EU Commission had to initiate a formal test procedure.

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The EU competition heads had decided that certain aid had been inadmissible but can not be recovered. The bidding procedure for sale was also open, transparent and non-discriminatory-free and the price was marketable. Plaintiffs in the underlying procedures were the association «Yes to the Nürburgring» and the US company Nexovation. They wanted to acquire the route myself, but did not come to the move. "Yes to the Nürburgring" explained, the racetrack should possibly be available even more of the public about a foundation, rather than in the hands of a profit-oriented investor.

Preferential Treatment Not to be ruled

The sale for sale was according to ECJ that the EU Commission was wrongly assuming that the offer of Capricorn was guaranteed by a bank. "This error suggests doubts about the freedom of non-discrimination of the bidding procedure," were the highest EU judges. Because the error could prove "that Capricorn has received a preferential treatment and your offer has not been rejected, while the higher range of nexovation has been excluded because of missing finance proofs».

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The EU Commission must now re-examine whether the sale was associated with the granting of a state aid ", as the ECJ declared. Which result and what impact has a new test procedure is not fixed yet. At the request of the German Press Agency, the EU Commission shared that the verdict has been noted, it will be carefully studied and think about next steps.

sales procedure «When Farce exposes"

the chairman of the association "Yes to the Nürburgring", Dieter Weidenbrück, commented: "The decision of the ECJ undermains our criticism in the sales procedure." It is incomprehensible to the association, "Why only the last instance had to be endeavored to correctly classify the obviously insufficient financing situation of the buyers. The sales process is now definitively exposed as farce. »

In the new audit of the EU Commission, it should hardly be possible to assist the then financing as secured and thus classify the sales process as fair and EU compliant. The association enables to ensure the "future of the automotive cultural assets and access for the widespread sports long-term".

The racetrack launched nearly 100 years ago in State Hand went bankrupt in 2012. Therefore, she was sold. Meanwhile, she is a holding of the Russian entrepreneur Viktor Charitonin. The operator company of the Nürburgring has set the asphalt loop to numerous economic legs - in addition to motorsport, for example, in Corona times, for example, test drives of the car industry and corporate events. There are also trips from hobby racers with their own cars on the Nürburgring. The legendary music spectacle «Rock am Ring», on the other hand, has fallen victims for two years in a row of the pandemic.

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