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Brussels, 12 th June 2009

State aid: Commission authorises temporary Slovenian scheme allowing limited amounts of aid to boost real economy

The European Commission has authorised under EC Treaty rules on state aid a Slovenian scheme to assist companies encountering financing difficulties as a result of the credit squeeze in the current economic crisis. The scheme allows aid to be granted of up to €500.000 per company. The scheme meets the conditions of the Commission’s Temporary Framework for state aid measures to support access to finance in the current financial and economic crisis (see IP/08/1993 ), as amended on 25 February 2009, because it is appropriate to remedy a serious disturbance in the entire Slovenian economy, is limited in time, respects the relevant thresholds and applies only to companies that were not in difficulties before 1 July 2008. It is therefore compatible with Article 87(3)(b) of the EC.

Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said "The Slovenian measure helps firms affected by the credit crunch to obtain financial resources. This is an effective way of encouraging business investment and economic recovery, without unduly distorting competition."

The Slovenian authorities designed the scheme on the basis of the rules laid down in the Commission's Temporary Framework on state aid to the real economy during the current crisis (see IP/08/1993 ). In particular, the measure can be applied until 31 December 2010 and does not apply to firms that were already in difficulties on 1 July 2008 (i.e. before the credit crunch).

In view of the importance of the scheme for the Slovenian economy, t he Commission considered that the scheme could be approved under Article 87 (3)(b) of the EC Treaty. The Slovenian authorities demonstrated that the scheme is necessary, proportional and appropriate to remedy a serious disturbance in the entire Slovenian economy.

The decision will be published in the State Aid Register on DG Competition’s website , under the reference number N 228/2009. 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 .

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