ANNOUNCED AS TEMPORARYNo
On 18 December 2009, the Italian authorities notified a temporary aid scheme in favor of the primary agriculture sector.
The forms of aid will be decided directly by the administration concerned (regional and local) and might take the form of direct grants, interest rate subsidies, loans with an aid element which is calculated on the basis of the applicable reference rate6 and in the form of guarantees where the aid element is calculated either on the basis of notified methodologies, or on the basis of the safe harbour premiums laid down in the annex to the Temporary Framework.
The total aid volume under this scheme has been estimated by the Italian authorities to amount 320 million euro. The aid can be granted from the approval of the scheme by the Commission until 31 December 2010.
Beneficiaries are undertakings active in the primary production of agricultural products.
The European Commission gave the following assessment:
'The aid at issue is financed out of public resources and benefits certain undertakings. Pursuant to the case law of the Court of Justice, aid to an undertaking is deemed to affect trade between Member States if that undertaking operates in a market open to intra-Community trade. The mere fact that the competitive position of an undertaking is strengthened compared with other competing undertakings, by giving it an economic benefit which it would not otherwise have received in the normal course of its business, points to a possible distortion of competition. The beneficiaries of the aid at issue operate on a market where intra-community trade takes place. The aid measure could therefore distort competition and affect trade between Member States and consequently constitutes aid pursuant to Article 107(1) of the TFUE.' (par. 34 of the letter from the EC to Italy - Brussels, 1.2.2010 C(2010) 715)
The Commission has decided to consider the aid compatible with the internal market under Article 107(3)(b) of the TFUE.
A state measure in the GTA database is assessed solely in terms of the extent to which its implementation affects the extent of discrimination against foreign commercial interests. On this metric, the state aid proposed here is discriminatory.
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