State aid: Commission approves modification of two Italian guarantee schemes to further support companies in the context of the coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has found that the prolongation and modification of two existing Italian schemes to support companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak to be in line with the State aid Temporary Framework. The original schemes, which go under the names of  ‘Fondo di garanzia per le PMI‘ and ‘Garanzia Italia (di SACE)‘, were both approved by the Commission under the Temporary Framework on 13 April 2020 (SA.56966 & SA.56963). Italy notified some modifications to the existing schemes, including notably: (i) an extension of the eligible period, until 31 December 2021; and (ii) an increase of the maximum maturity of the guaranteed loans from six to eight years, with consequent adjustment of the premiums. The Commission found that the schemes, as modified, continue to be in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, (i) the modulation of the maturities and premiums is in line with the conditions and limits set out in the Temporary Framework and with the case practice developed by the Commission; and (ii) the aid will be granted no later than 31 December 2021. The Commission concluded that the schemes, as modified, remain 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 amended schemes under EU State aid rules. The non-confidential version of the decisions will be made available under the case numbers SA.63597 (amendment to SA.56966) and SA.63653 (amendment to SA.56963) in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.