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German govt cancels Friday meeting on future of coal industry – sources

German govt cancels Friday meeting on future of coal industry – sources

FRANKFURT (AFX) – The German government has cancelled a meeting scheduled for Friday with political and industry leaders to discuss the future of domestic coal mining, government sources told DPA news agency.
The Social Democrats (SPD) want to delay a vote on when domestic coal mining will end, while the Christian Democrats (CDU) want to close all mines by 2018 at the latest.
The meeting was cancelled because there has been no movement from either side. The dispute about when to close the mines must be resolved before RAG AG can carry out its initial public offering, tentatively planned for this year.
Once this matter is agreed upon, several RAG shareholders, including E.ON AG, ThyssenKrupp AG and RWE AG, have informed Chancellor Angela Merkel that they are willing to sell their RAG shares to the government for the symbolic price of 1.0 eur per share in exchange for debt relief.
RAG has debts of about 8.0 bln eur, most of which stem from its German mining activities.
A large portion of the funds raised in RAG’s IPO will be turned over the government, which will use the money to cover the costs of ending coal mining in Germany in 2014 and also pay off RAG’s debts.
alfred.kueppers@afxnews.com
dpa/amk/jsa
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