The European Commission has approved a Greek scheme with an estimated budget of up to 500 million euros to support the uncovered fixed costs of companies affected by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
“Many companies in Greece have seen their revenues significantly decline because of the coronavirus outbreak and of the measures necessary to limit its spread,” Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said.
Under the scheme, Greece plans to provide economic assistance to certain businesses in order to bridge liquidity shortages related to Covid-19 and thereby to preserve continuity of economic activity during and after the pandemic.
“This 500-million-euro scheme will enable Greece to support these companies by helping them cover the fixed costs that are not covered by their revenues,” Vestager added.
Who can apply
According to an announcement by the Commission, the scheme will be open to all companies, irrespective of their size and of the sector where they operate (with the exception of the financial sector).
Support will take the form of a credit to be used for the payment of tax and social security obligations that are due from 1 July 2021 to 31 December 2021. The credit (i) gives the right to the beneficiary to deduct the amount of aid from these obligations towards the State; and (ii) it can be used until 31 December 2021.
The measure will enable the Greek authorities to support companies that suffered from a monthly turnover decline between April 2020 and December 2020 of at least 30 percent compared to the same period in 2019, by helping them cover the losses incurred during that period. The aid will cover up to 70 percent (90 percent in case of micro and small companies) of their fixed costs that are not covered by revenues. The overall aid amount will not exceed 10 million euros per company.
Furthermore, companies that commenced their activities after 1 January 2019 or established new branches from 1 April 2019 to 31 December 2020, as well as businesses providing bus services in Greece (so called KTEL companies), will be eligible for aid under the scheme, up to 225,000 euros per company active in the primary production of agricultural products, 270,000 euros per company active in the fishery sector and 1.8 million euros per company active in all other eligible sectors.
According to the Commission, the Greek aid scheme is in line with EU rules.