State aid: Commission approves modified €3.5 billion Greek repayable advances scheme to support companies affected by coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has found the modification of the existing Greek repayable advances scheme to support companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak to be in line with the Temporary Framework. The original scheme was approved by the Commission on 7 April 2020 under case number SA.56815. The Commission approved a first amendment to the scheme on 31 July 2020 (SA.58047). Greece notified the following further modifications to the scheme: (i) an extension of the period in relation to which the aid may be granted, i.e. from March to August 2020 (it was limited to March 2020 in the original scheme, and extended to May 2020 with the first amendment); (ii) certain modifications to the eligibility conditions of the beneficiaries; and (iii) an increase in the estimated total budget of the scheme, from €2 billion to €3.5 billion. 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 numbers SA.59069 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website.