More than 2,600 former textile workers in Spain and Portugal are in line for financial assistance to help them get back into employment.

Applications from the two countries for assistance from the European Globalisation adjustment Fund (EGF) were approved today by the European Commission (EC) - and are now being sent to the European Parliament and Council for a final decision.

If approved, EUR3.3m (US$4.6m) will be allocated to 1,100 redundant workers in Spain, and EUR832,800 will help 1,504 workers in Portugal.

"All corners of the EU are feeling the effects of the current crisis," said employment commissioner Vladimír Špidla.

"I am confident that it will help take the edge off these job losses and assist the Spanish authorities in getting the workers back onto the labour market as soon as possible."

The applications relate to 46 small and medium-sized enterprises in the Cataluña region of Span, plus 49 firms in Portugal's Norte and Centro areas.

The EGF assistance will include career guidance, vocational training, support for entrepreneurship and skills recognition and certification for the redundant workers.