The European Commission has approved a 800-million-euro Greek scheme to support tourism companies affected by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
The scheme has been approved under the State Aid Temporary Framework.
“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,” Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager said in an announcement on Tuesday.
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 percent 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 percent of the beneficiary’s annual turnover or 400,000 euros 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: In particular, the aid (i) will not exceed 1.8 million euros per beneficiary, and (ii) will be granted no later than 31 December 2021.
Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will provide representatives of Greek tourism enterprises with further details on the program, during a meeting scheduled for Tuesday.