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Brussels, 24 August 2010

State aid: Commission extends the Slovenian bank liquidity support scheme

The European Commission has extended until the end of the year the liquidity support scheme for banks in Slovenia. The extended scheme features higher premiums to be paid by the banks for the loans granted by the State. This is to encourage banks to finance themselves without state support and to limit distortions of competition.

The European Commission has authorised, under EU state aid rules, the extension until 31 December 2010 of the Slovenian liquidity scheme for the financial sector.

The Slovenian scheme was initially approved on 20 March 2009 (see IP/09/452). The scheme was prolonged on 19 October 2009 (see MEX/09/1019) and on 15 April 2010 (see MEX/10/0415).

The Commission considers the extension of the measures to be in line with its guidance on state aid to banks during the crisis (see IP/08/1495) and the recent adjustment of the rules for State guarantee, endorsed by the Ecofin Council at the meeting on the phasing out of the support measures for the financial sector (see conclusions of 18 May 2010).

In particular, the extended measures are well targeted, proportionate and limited in time and scope. The extended scheme includes higher premiums in order to provide an incentive for banks to refinance themselves on the markets without state support and to limit distortions of competition. The Commission has therefore concluded that these measures represent an appropriate means of remedying a serious disturbance in the Slovenian economy and as such are compatible with Article 107(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

A significant number of liquidity, recapitalisation and other support schemes for banks has been prolonged until the end of the year in a number of Member States. More information can be found on the website of DG Competition and on the Rapid news database.

The non-confidential version of the Slovenian decision will be made available under the case number N 321/2010 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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