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Daily News – 05.08.2009

EXME09 / 05.08


News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction Générale Communication

05 / 08 / 09

The European Commission has authorised, under EC Treaty state aid rules, a measure adopted by Germany to limit the adverse impact of the current financial crisis on export firms. The Commission found the measure to be in line with its Temporary Framework for state aid measures to support access to finance in the current financial and economic crisis (see IP/08/1993). In particular, the measure requires market-oriented remuneration and tackles the problem of the current unavailability of the short-term export credit insurance cover in the private market. The Commission authorised the measure until 31 December 2010.

The European Commission has authorised, under EC Treaty state aid rules, a scheme offering reduced-interest loans to businesses investing in the production of environmentally friendly products, as part of the German package to tackle the current economic crisis. It will allow state, regional or local authorities to grant until 31 December 2010 loans with subsidised interest payments until 31 December 2012 at the latest. The scheme meets the conditions of the Commission’s Temporary state aid framework that gives Member States additional possibilities for providing businesses with improved access to financing during the economic and financial crisis (see IP/08/1993). In particular, it respects the minimum interest rates and environmental standards defined in the Framework and it applies only to businesses that were not in difficulties before 1 July 2008. It is therefore compatible with Article 87(3)(b) of the EC Treaty, which permits aid to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State.

In June 2009, compared with May 2009, the volume of retail trade fell by 0.2% in the euro area, but increased by 0.1% in the EU. In May retail trade declined by 0.5% and by 0.6% respectively. In June 2009, compared with June 2008, the retail sales index decreased by 2.4% in the euro area and by 1.7% in the EU.

  • State aid: Commission approves prolongation of Swedish recapitalisation scheme for credit institutions

The European Commission has authorised, under EC Treaty state aid rules, a six months prolongation until 17 February 2010 of a Swedish recapitalisation scheme for credit institutions. The Commission found the prolongation of the measures, initially approved on 11 February 2009 (see IP/09/241), to be in line with its guidance on support measures for banks during the financial crisis (see IP/08/1495 and IP/08/1901). In particular, the extended measures are limited in time, contain sufficient safeguards to ensure that the public capital is used to sustain lending to the real economy and require a significant proportion of private investment alongside with the state intervention. The Commission has therefore concluded that they represent an appropriate means of remedying a serious disturbance in the Swedish economy and as such are compatible with Article 87(3)(b) of the EC Treaty.

  • Commission clears joint venture between Sabena Technics and TNT Airways

The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the joint venture of Sabena Technics and TNT Airways. Sabena Technics and TNT Airways are both active in aeronautical maintenance. The new joint venture will be active in maintenance of airport of Liège-Bierset and Bruxelles-National. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

A disposition au secrétariat de Jonathan Todd (BERL 03/315):

Notification préalable d'une opération de concentration :

Uniqa/Veneto Banca /JV

Gonvarri/Severstal /JV