State aid: Commission approves €73 million Italian scheme to support bus operators in the context of the coronavirus outbreak
The European Commission has approved a €73 million Italian scheme to support bus operators affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The measure was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. The scheme consists of three different measures. Under all measures, the support will take the form of direct grants. Companies providing scheduled bus services, as well as companies providing occasional bus services, and not receiving a public service obligation (‘PSO’) compensation will be entitled to receive direct grants for the repayment of loans instalments and for the purchase of new buses. The Commission found that the scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, the aid (i) will not exceed €1.8 million per beneficiary; and (ii) 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.64342 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.