Brussels, 29 th May 2009
State aid: Commission authorises two Italian crisis schemes to boost real economy
The European Commission has authorised under EC Treaty state aid rules two schemes aimed at helping companies to deal with the current economic crisis. The measures allow national, regional and local authorities to grant aid in 2009 and 2010 to businesses facing funding problems because of the current credit squeeze. The first scheme enables grants of up to €500 000 per company, while the second one provides for aid in the form of guarantees. Both schemes meet 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 ). In particular, they are limited in time and only apply to companies that were not in difficulties on 1 July 2008 (before the credit crunch) They are 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 Italian measures are aimed at alleviating the increasing difficulties that Italian companies, and in particular SMEs, are facing because of the crisis. They will support businesses affected by the credit crunch without unduly distorting competition ."
The first scheme enables grants of up to €500 000 per company and the second one provides for aid in the form of guarantees. The Italian authorities designed the measures in accordance with the rules set out in the Commission's Temporary state aid Framework (see ). Both schemes are limited in time and only apply to companies that were not in difficulties on 1 July 2008. They are part of a wider set of measures that Italy is putting in place under the Temporary Framework, to help economic recovery.
The non-confidential version of the decisions will be made available under case numbers N 248/2009 and N 266/2009 in the State Aid Register on the DG Competition website. New publications of state aid decisions on the internet and in the Official Journal are listed in the State Aid Weekly e-News .