State aid: Commission approves €500 million Greek scheme to support small and medium-sized businesses affected by coronavirus outbreak | EU Commission Press

The European Commission has approved a €500 million Greek scheme to support small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The measure was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. The scheme will be open to SMEs active in all sectors except the financial, primary agriculture, tobacco and fisheries sectors. Legal entities governed by public law and offshore companies are also excluded from the scope of the scheme. The public support will take the form of direct grants. The objective of the measure is to help ensure sufficient working capital for SMEs affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The amount of the grants corresponds to the interests beneficiaries would have had to pay on existing loans for the months of January, February and March 2021. The Commission found that the Greek measure is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, (i) the support will not exceed €1.8 million per company and (ii) the aid will be granted before 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.61802 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.