Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) The European Commission approved Greece’s aid scheme worth 2 billion euro under the state aid Temporary Framework.
Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition, pointed out that the scheme will help Greece to recover faster from the coronavirus crisis and make its economy more sustainable, the EC noted in a statement on Monday.
She noted that the scheme is in line with Greece’s Recovery and Resilience Plan and will help the country to address investment issues caused by the crisis.
“We continue working in close cooperation with member states to ensure that national support measures to kick-start and crowd-in private investment can be put in place as quickly and effectively as possible, in line with EU rules,” Vestager stressed.
Greece pointed out that the move will support investments that are in line with the EU’s green push by providing affordable loans.
The EC noted that the aid scheme will support research and development, digitalisation and green transition in Greece by financing “investments in tangible and intangible assets in order to facilitate the development of economic activities.”
The scheme has safeguards in place to limit effects on competition and indirect aid to financial institutions through which the support will be provided, the Commission stressed.
Aid for about 250 companies
Under the scheme, which is to provide support to roughly 250 companies, aid will not exceed 15 million euro per beneficiary.
The EC pointed out that the scheme is in line with Temporary Framework rules as aid per beneficiary does not exceed 1% of the package, the aid will not benefit financial investments, interest rates on loans are not below required levels and support will be provided by the end of the year.
The body added that the measure is appropriate, proportionate and necessary to support investments needed for a sustainable recovery.
The EC last amended the Temporary Framework at the end of 2021 with the aim of supporting economic recovery of member states from the coronavirus crisis.
It allows bloc members to provide sectors and companies with financial injections, grants, selective tax cuts, state guarantees and more.
The Commission concluded that “the Temporary Framework will be in place until 30 June 2022, with the exception of investment support towards a sustainable recovery, which will be in place until 31 December 2022, and of solvency support, which will be in place until 31 December 2023.”