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IP/09/1483

Brussels, 8 th October 2009

State aid: Commission authorises temporary Polish scheme allowing limited amounts of aid to boost real economy

The European Commission has authorised under EC Treaty rules on state aid a Polish scheme aimed at providing relief to companies encountering financing difficulties as a result of the credit squeeze in the current economic crisis. To this end the scheme allows aid in the form of direct grants and debt conversions concluded by 31 December 2010. The scheme meets the conditions of the Commission’s Temporary framework for state aid measures to support access to finance in the current financial and economic crisis (see IP/08/1993 ), as amended on 25 February 2009. In particular, the scheme is appropriate to remedy a serious disturbance in the entire Polish economy, is limited in time, respects the relevant thresholds and applies only to companies that were not in difficulty on 1 July 2008. It is therefore compatible with Article 87(3)(b) of the EC Treaty.

Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said "The measure was designed to help maintaining employment and preventing bankruptcy. We are satisfied that it encourages business investment and economic recovery, without unduly distorting competition."

The Polish authorities designed the scheme on the basis of the rules laid down in the Commission's Temporary framework on state aid to the real economy during the crisis (see IP/08/1993 ). The measures can be applied until 31 December 2010. The scheme does not apply to firms that were already in difficulty on 1 July 2008 (i.e. before the credit crunch).

In view of the importance of the scheme for the overall Polish economy, t he Commission considered that the scheme can be approved under Article 87 (3)(b) of the EC Treaty. The Polish authorities demonstrated that the scheme is necessary, proportional and appropriate to remedy a serious disturbance in the entire Polish economy.

The decision will be published in the State Aid Register on DG Competition’s website , under the reference number N 408/2009. The latest decisions on state aid published in the Official Jour nal and on the website are listed in the electronic newsletter State aid Weekly e-News .


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