For example, this year’s survey showed that Italy (8,864 million euro), Germany (11,463 million euro) and France (4,481 million euro) paid most to their manufacturing sectors between 1996 and 1998.Officials say the new scoreboard and register will be constantly updated with the latest figures, spotlighting errant countries and highlighting new trends such as a downturn in handouts. Monti’s aides add that the new scoreboard will be based on a more thorough examination of which aid schemes do most damage. “The register will be a list saying which schemes have been notified, what they are and what the Commission has approved, and so on,” said one. “The scoreboard will be more analytical. It will look at what impact the aid has and what are the tendencies.”Under the EU’s tough state aid rules, Monti can outlaw proposed subsidies if he decides that they give particular firms an unfair competitive advantage. But he is keen to see a decline in overall levels of aid, amid concern that a myriad of legal subsidy schemes can still combine to cause huge distortions to the Union’s single market.Handouts to ailing companies can be a hammer blow to more efficient rivals, while foreign firms’ decisions on where to build a new factory often owe more to where they can get the biggest grant than where they can find the best workforce and infrastructure. “State aid can frustrate free competition by preventing the most efficient allocation of resources and pose a threat to the unity of the single market,” said Monti in the introduction to this year’s survey.The Commissioner’s aides say his plans have been warmly welcomed by his colleagues within the EU executive and MEPs. But state aid is always an enormously sensitive political issue, and naming and shaming member states is bound to ruffle feathers in national capitals. The move, which will be accompanied by separate plans for a register of new and existing state aid schemes notified by member states, reflects Monti’s determination to deliver on a promise he made to MEPs at his confirmation hearings last autumn to crack down on subsidies.“The Commission will endorse the concept of the register and the scoreboard,” said a Monti aide, although he added that the first results would not be published until a later date. “The register is easier to put together. For the scoreboard, there are various stages foreseen. We have to get together with other Commission departments and I am not sure if there will be one available this year.”The Commission’s annual survey of state aid already gives a detailed breakdown of the subsidies paid by member states to individual sectors.