Brussels, 30th March 2009
Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said: "The measure will support the production of environmentally-friendly cars without unduly distorting competition. This will allow important investments for the future low carbon economy which could have been put on hold due to the financial and economic crisis. Good cooperation with the Spanish authorities, has allowed for a speedy assessment of the measure."
On 6 March 2009, Spain notified a temporary anti-crisis measure to the Commission. The scheme would allow subsidised loans to be granted only for investments in products that meet or go beyond future EU environmental product standards, in particular the standards for low emission vehicles (known as 'Euro 6'). The measure is open to the car and car component industry.
Subsidised loans may be granted until 31 December 2009 with a maximum term of two years. The reduction in the interest rate may not exceed 50% for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and 25% for large businesses, in relation to the reference rate, and must take into account the enterprise's risk profile when the loan is granted. The measure applies only to businesses that were not in difficulty on 1 July 2008, that is, before the crisis. Lastly, the monitoring reports to be produced by the Spanish authorities must include additional information, in particular the environmental benefits of the measure.
The decision will be made available under case number N 140/2009 in the State Aid Register on the DG Competition website once all the confidentiality issues have been resolved. New publications of state aid decisions on the internet and in the Official Journal are listed in the State Aid Weekly e-News.