(08.01.2000 - Juhani Artto) Aker Finnyards, the number two shipbuilding company in Finland, announced on 7 January that it had won a tender for a passenger car ferry worth almost FIM one billion (EUR 160 million, USD 170 million). However, the winning tender assumes a government subsidy and does not consider official rejection of appeals to continue with subsidies.

Finland's trade and industry minister Erkki Tuomioja, in his immediate response, reminded Aker Finnyards that no money has been budgeted for shipbuilding industry subsidies and that it seems clear that none is likely to be allocated.

Tuomioja was astonished at the behaviour of Aker Finnyards as the company was well advised concerning the decision to abandon the subsidy policy.

Aker Finnyards has about 1,100 employees. The order from the Greek shipping company G A Ferries would provide employment to its workforce for one year.