BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) -- Poland handed over new details of a shipyard rescue plan in a last-ditch effort to prevent three ailing yards from having to pay back huge state subsidies, the European Commission said Friday.
The commission said in a statement it would analyze the information quickly to see if it contained any "concrete and material additions" to sway the opinion of EU regulators that the current plan does not meet EU conditions.
EU regulators say they can only rule that the Polish government was right to pump money into the Gdynia, Szczecin and Gdansk yards if the funds were used to prepare them to stand on their own as private businesses. State money cannot prop up unprofitable companies, they say.
The EU executive gave Poland a midnight Thursday deadline to make changes to a restructuring plan they said did not meet European conditions and would force the EU to order the yards to pay back hundreds of millions of euro (dollars) in state subsidies they have received over the years.
In Poland, some 3,000 shipyard workers, wearing yellow safety helmets, marched Thursday through the northwestern city of Szczecin to demand that the government save their jobs. They say restructuring the EU wants would cost 1,000 jobs -- a third of the work force.
The docks have played a major role in Polish history, especially Gdansk, the birthplace of the Solidarity trade union, which launched the nation's peaceful anti-communist revolt in the 1980s.
Regulators are not happy with the way Poland plans to compensate the yards as they reduce shipbuilding capacity as ordered. They also want the plan to be financed by the shipyards themselves.
The EU said it cannot allow Poland to subsidize its yards when other countries -- such as Germany -- underwent "a painful process of restructuring in the 1990s" that saw them slash capacity to become economically viable. The EU executive began investigating the subsidies in June 2005.