The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a €800 million Greek scheme to support companies active in tourism affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. The scheme is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and will be open to companies of all sizes that experienced a turnover decline of more than 30% in 2020, compared to 2019. The aid will take the form of direct grants, with a maximum amount for each grant of either up to 5% of the beneficiary’s annual turnover or €400,000 per company, whichever the lowest. The aim of the scheme is to provide beneficiaries with working capital needed for acquiring raw materials necessary for their activities. The Commission found that the scheme notified by Greece is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. 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 aid measure under EU State aid rules. Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: ”This €800 million Greek scheme will facilitate access to liquidity for companies active in the tourism sector. They have been hit hard by the pandemic and this scheme will help ensure the continuity of their economic activity in these difficult times. We continue to work in close cooperation with Member States to find workable solutions to mitigate the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, in line with EU rules”. The online version of the full press release can be found here.
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