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Brussels, 30th April 2009

State aid: Commission authorises Slovak temporary aid scheme to grant compatible aid of up to €500 000

The European Commission has authorised, under EC Treaty state aid rules, a Slovak measure to help businesses to deal with the current economic crisis. Aid of up to €500 000 per firm may be granted in 2009 and 2010 to businesses facing funding problems because of the current credit squeeze. The scheme meets the conditions of the Commission’s Temporary Framework for state aid measures, which gives Member States additional scope to facilitate access to financing in the present economic and financial crisis (see IP/08/1993). 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’.

"The scheme will help to alleviate difficulties faced by Slovak businesses affected by the current financial crisis without giving rise to any undue distortions of competition”, said Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes.

The scheme is based on the provisions of the Temporary Framework that deals 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.

The aid will be available inter alia in the form of grants and remission of penalties for non payment of taxes. Under the scheme, limited amounts of compatible aid can be granted as from its approval by the Commission until 31 December 2010.

The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number N 222/2009 in the State Aid Register on the DG Competition website once any 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.

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