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03Feb94 UK: BOSSES SEEK AID BAN - STEEL SUBSIDIES.

Britain's bosses this week called for the European Commission to be given tougher powers to crack down on the state subsidies given to loss-making European steel plants.In a new report the Confederation of British Industry singled out the steel industry as suffering the worst effects of the distorted competition.British steel contractors have complained they have lost millions of pounds because of unfair competition from the Continent.The CBI's director-general Howard Davies said: 'It is a serious misuse of resources for member states to divert taxpayers' money to subsidise uneconomic production by loss-making enterprises.'He called on the EU to investigate the cases of two strip mills, the CSI consortium's mill at Sestao, Spain, and the Klockner mill at Bremen, Germany.Dr Derek Tordoff, director of the British Constructional Steelwork Association, accused leading British main contractors of undermining the UK construction industry by buying cheaper foreign-subsidised steel.He said: 'Some contractors prefer to buy abroad. We are disappointed that they are not supporting the UK industry. If everyone bought abroad there would be no UK economy left.' CONSTRUCTION NEWS