ANNOUNCEMENT 30 Dec 2008In December 2008, the government of Greece announced a change in private-sector financial support.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
the letter from the European Commission to Greece - Brussels, 27.1.2010 C(2010) 180 - http://ec.europa.eu/competition/elojade/isef/case_details.cfm?proc_code=3_N672_2008
On 30 December 2008, Greece notified a restructuring aid for Kalofolias S.A. By letter of 26 November 2009, the Greek authorities submitted the final version of the restructuring plan.
Kalofolias S.A is a large company, established in 2000 by way of the merger of several pre-existing firms, which belonged to the Kalofolias family (whose members still hold 100% of the company). Kalofolias S.A is active in the markets of press (financial newspaper "Express", 55% of annual turnover in 2008), printing services (27% of annual turnover in 2008), organization of expositions and conferences (11% of annual turnover in 2008) and e-info services ("Kapa-tel", sms, wap & mms, 7% of annual turnover in 2008).
The Greek authorities indicate that the overall costs of the restructuring of EUR 14.2 million will be funded by State aid of EUR 7.1 million and an own contribution of EUR 7.1 million. The State aid consists of a direct grant.
The Commission concluded that the measure contains state aid and gave the following assessment:
"The notified measure is to be granted by the Ministry of Economy and, therefore, involve State resources. The measure confers an economic advantage to Kalofolias S.A. in the context of its restructuring by relieving it from the costs it would otherwise have to bear under normal market conditions. Since the measure is aimed at a single company, it is considered as selective. By favouring a single firm, the measure threatens to distort competition in relation to other undertakings that do not receive the aid. Finally, and considering that the measure concerns an undertaking involved in activities subject to trade between Member States, there is a risk that the aid could affect that trade." (par. 26 of the letter from the European Commission to Greece - Brussels, 27.1.2010 C(2010) 180)
However, the Commission has decided to consider the aid compatible with the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
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.