State aid: Commission approves €2.55 billion Spanish guarantee scheme to compensate certain self-employed and companies for damages suffered due to coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved, under EU State Aid rules, a €2.55 billion Spanish scheme to compensate certain self-employed and companies, which are following judicial composition agreements, for damages suffered due to coronavirus outbreak. The compensation will take the form of public guarantees for repayable new loans granted by supervised financial institutions, and new notes issued on the Alternative Fixed-Income Market. Under the scheme, around 15,000 self-employed and companies with endorsed composition agreements with creditors following judicial insolvency proceedings will be compensated for damages incurred between 14 March and 20 June 2020. This period coincides with the period when the Spanish government implemented restrictive measures to limit the spread of the virus. The Commission assessed the measure under Article 107(2)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which enables the Commission to approve State aid measures granted by Member States to compensate specific companies or specific sectors for the damages caused by exceptional occurrences, such as the coronavirus outbreak. The Commission found that the Spanish scheme will compensate damages that are directly linked to the coronavirus outbreak restrictions. It also found that the measure is proportionate, as the envisaged compensation does not exceed what is necessary to make good the damages. The Commission therefore concluded that the scheme is in line with EU State aid rules. More information will be available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register, under the case number SA.59045.