State aid: Commission approves €14 million Greek scheme to support companies active in the art and entertainment sectors affected by coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a Greek scheme to support companies active in the art and entertainment sectors, in particular those managing theatres and other cultural venues, in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. Under the scheme, the support will take the form of direct grants to cover the loss of revenue from ticket sales suffered by the beneficiaries due to the closures and other restrictions that the Greek government had to impose to limit the spread of the virus. The scheme will be open to companies that experienced inter alia a minimum decline in turnover of 20% from March to September 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. The purpose of the scheme is to help the beneficiaries address their liquidity needs in order to ensure continuity of their activities. The Commission found that the Greek scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, (i) the support will not exceed €1.8 million per company as provided by the Temporary Framework; and (ii) the aid will be granted no later than 31 December 2021. The Commission concluded that the measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State, in line with Article 107(3)(b) TFEU and the conditions of the Temporary Framework. On this basis, the Commission approved the measure under EU State aid rules. More information on the Temporary Framework and other actions taken by the Commission to address the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic can be found here. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.62699 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.