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Commission approves RETEX programme for Saxony

The German Bundesland of Saxony is to receive ECU 41,850,000 from the Structural Funds under the Community's RETEX Initiative to assist regions highly dependent on the textiles and clothing sector. A programme with a total financial volume of ECU 90,137,000 has been approved b...

The German Bundesland of Saxony is to receive ECU 41,850,000 from the Structural Funds under the Community's RETEX Initiative to assist regions highly dependent on the textiles and clothing sector. A programme with a total financial volume of ECU 90,137,000 has been approved by the Commission. The aim of the RETEX programme is to support regions dependent on the textiles and clothing industry in coping with structural change. The assisted region in this case covers the areas of Landkreise Freiberg, Mitweida, Chemnitzer Land, Zwickauer Land, Mittlerer Erzgebirgskreis, Annaberg, Stollberg, Westlausitzkreis, Sachsischer Lausitzkreis, Bautzen, Gotschtalkreis, Eltertalkreis and Plauen; and the cities Chemnitz and Zwickau. Saxony's textiles and clothing industry has suffered, since 1989, from major structural change, leading to a substantial decline in jobs in this sector. Compared with other sectors, the textiles and clothing industry - which had been a key part of the economy in Saxony - saw a severe collapse after the introduction of the free-market economy. This is reflected in the unemployment rate in the area concerned, which is presently 15.8% for men and 26% for women. Under the RETEX programme for Saxony, a number of measures will be added to what the Federal and Land authorities are already providing in the way of assistance. As well as direct improvements to the innovative capacity of firms, the aim is to improve and expand technology promotion and technology transfer. It is also planned to clean up and rehabilitate former industrial land for new uses. For example, the RETEX programme provides for assistance towards networked projects to rapidly develop and utilzse new materials, the establishment of craft industry centres on rehabilitated derelict industrial land and the promotion of investment in environmental technology.

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Germany