The EU has approved PLN7.95 billion (£1.54bn) of Polish state aid to help close old coal mines.
The plan to close uncompetitive mines by 2018 has been judged to be within EU state rules as it won’t unduly distort competition in the market and will alleviate the social and environmental impacts of the closure.
The money will help workers who have already lost or will lose their jobs by providing severance payments, compensatory pensions and social security benefits.
It will also be used to ensure the organised, safe and timely decommissioning of mine infrastructure by closing off shafts, repairing environmental damage caused over the lifespan of the mines and cultivating the land for future use.
The remainder of the aid will cover production losses of the mines until closure.