Finnish Government Asks EU to Probe Oasis Cruise Ship Deal

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January 8, 2013

Oasis of The Seas, the first ship in the Oasis-class, under construction at STX Finland in Turku. Photo: RCL

The Finnish Government has asked the European Commission to look into French state subsidies given to STX France that may have helped the yard win a billion dollar cruise ship order from Royal Caribbean, according to a report by the AFP.

gCaptain reported back in December that Royal Carribbean had ordered a third – and possibly fourth – Oasis class cruise ship from STX France, a departure from STX Finland where the first two Oasis-class vessels were built.

Media reports have indicated that the STX Finland lost the deal, estimated to be about $1.33 billion, to its French rival after financial support from the Finnish government had fallen through. As a result, STX Finland is at risk of cutting hundreds of jobs from its 2,200-strong workforce, which would be a huge blow to Finland’s already fragile economy.

While the Finnish government does not suspect any foul play from France, the inquiry with the European Commission is just to make sure all rules were followed.

“There aren’t any likely suspicions that France has done something wrong but (this is) just to make sure that everything went according to the rules because this has been a huge case in Finland,” Finnish Economic Affairs Minister Jan Vapaavuori told the AFP.

The first two 225,000-ton Oasis-class ships – Oasis of The Seas and Allure of The Seas – are currently the largest cruise ships in the world with the capacity for 5,400-passengers. Both ships are homeported in Port Everglades, FL.

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