Brussels, 3 rd June 2009
State aid: Commission approves Greek reduced interest rate scheme to boost real economy
The European Commission has authorised under EC Treaty state aid rules a Greek scheme aimed at firms that encounter financial difficulties as a result of the credit squeeze in the current economic crisis . The measure allows national authorities to grant aid in the form of reduced interest rates on loans concluded by 31 December 2010. 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 ). In particular, it is limited in time and only applies to companies that were not in difficulties before 1 July 2008. The scheme 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 Greek measure aims at improving the liquidity of companies affected by the current economic downturn, without causing undue distortions of competition. A significant reduction in the cost of loans can be an effective way of encouraging business investment and economic recovery."
The Greek authorities designed this measure in accordance with the rules set out in the Commission's Temporary state aid Framework (see ). The scheme is limited in time and only applies to companies that were not in difficulties before 1 July 2008. It is part of a wider set of measures that Greece is putting in place under the Temporary Framework.
The decision will be made available under case number N 309/2009 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 .