State aid: Commission approves €8 million Greek scheme to support companies active in the audio-visual distribution sector in context of coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a €8 million Greek scheme to support film distributors and cinemas affected by the coronavirus outbreak and by the restrictive measures that the Greek government had to implement to limit the spread of coronavirus. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. Under the scheme, the public support will take the form of direct grants. The measure will address the losses incurred by the beneficiaries during the period between October and December 2020 due to the closure of cinemas. The aid amount per beneficiary will be calculated based on the number of cinema seats and, for film distributors, on the basis of lost income. The Commission found that the Greek 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 company; 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 set out in 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.63004 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website, once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.