State aid: Commission approves €39.6 million Greek scheme to support certain vegetable producers affected by coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a €39.6 million Greek scheme to support producers of certain vegetables in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State Aid Temporary Framework. The public support will take the form of direct grants. The scheme will be open to producers of ‘Kalamon’ table olives, early watermelon of low coverage and spring potatoes. It will be also open to producers of greenhouse crops of tomatoes, cucumbers and eggplants in Crete. The scheme aims at addressing the liquidity needs of the beneficiaries, thus helping them continue their activities during and after the coronavirus outbreak. The Commission found that the Greek scheme is in line with the conditions of the Temporary Framework. In particular, (i) the aid does not exceed €100,000 per beneficiary as provided by the Temporary Framework for undertakings in the primary agricultural sector and (ii) the scheme will run until 30 June 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 set out in the Temporary Framework. On this basis, the Commission approved the scheme 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.58929 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.