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State aid: Commission authorises Irish temporary scheme to grant aid of up to €500 000
Commission Européenne - IP/09/585 15/04/2009
Brussels, 15th April 2009
The European Commission has authorised, under EC Treaty state aid rules, an Irish measure to help businesses to deal with the current economic crisis. Irish authorities may grant aid of up to €500 000 per firm in 2009 and 2010 to businesses facing funding problems because of the current credit crunch. The aid will be granted in the form of direct grants, reimbursable grants, interest rate subsidies, and subsidised public loans. The scheme meets the conditions of the Commission’s Temporary Framework giving Member States additional scope to facilitate access to financing in the present economic and financial crisis (see IP/08/1993). In particular, it is limited in time and scope. 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.
Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said "The Irish scheme will help businesses affected by the current credit crunch without unduly distorting competition”.
The scheme, notified on 26 March 2009, is based on the provisions of the Temporary Framework that deal with compatible aid of a limited amount. In particular, the maximum amount of aid does not exceed €500 000 per company and the scheme applies only to businesses which were not in difficulty on 1 July 2008, that is before the unfolding of the crisis.
The scheme is intended to increase possibilities to give timely and well targeted aid to SMEs and large companies and will therefore significantly contribute to remedying the current financial and economic crisis.
The decision will be published in the State Aid Register on DG Competition’s website, under the reference number N 186/2009. The latest decisions on state aid published in the Official Journal and on the website are listed in the electronic newsletter State aid Weekly e-News.