State aid: Commission approves modified €2 billion Greek repayable advance scheme to support companies affected by coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has found certain amendments to an existing Greek scheme to support companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak to be in line with the Temporary Framework. The original scheme was approved on 7 April 2020 under case number SA.56815. Greece notified certain modifications to the original scheme, in particular: (i) an increase in the estimated total budget of the scheme, from €1 billion to €2 billion; (ii) the inclusion of more categories of companies that are eligible to receive aid and; (iii) an extension of the period, in relation to which the aid may be granted, i.e. from March to May 2020 (it was limited to March 2020 in the original scheme). It is estimated that more than 100,000 companies will be able to benefit from the modification of the existing scheme. Furthermore, following the recent amendment of Temporary Framework , the amended scheme also allows micro and small enterprises to benefit from the measure even if they were considered in difficulty on 31 December 2019 under certain conditions. The Commission concluded that the scheme, as modified, remains 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.58047 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.