ANNOUNCEMENT 29 Apr 2009In April 2009, the government of Italy announced a change in private-sector financial support.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
the letter from the EC to Italy - Brussels, 29.04.2009 C(2009) 3051 final. Available from : < http://ec.europa.eu/competition/elojade/isef/case_details.cfm?proc_code=3_N635_2008 >
On 15 December 2008, the Italian authorities notified to the EC aid for a large investment project by Fiat Group Automobiles S.p.A. in Termini Imerese in Sicily. The Italian authorities intend to promote regional development by providing regional aid to Fiat Group Automobiles S.p.A. The beneficiary is a 100% subsidiary of Fiat Group.
The investment will consist in the introduction of a new product - a new passenger car under the Lancia brand which is to replace the existing production of the old Lancia Ypsilon. It will include the extension of the existing plant and a significant change in the production process. The project comprises also the extension of the existing plant of Ergom Automobiles S.p.A. (Ergom), located at the Termini Imerese site. Ergom is a 100% subsidiary of Fiat Group and supplies plastic components which will be fully used in the production of the new car.
The total cost of planned investment in this project comes to EUR 379.758 million, of which EUR 319.086 million in nominal terms are eligible under regional aid rules. The Italian authorities intend to grant total aid for the project in Termini Imerese in the form of direct cash grant amounting to EUR 46 301 000.
The commission found that the measure constitutes State aid within the meaning of Article 87(1) of the EC Treaty and gave the following assessment:
'The financial support from the Italian authorities will be given for investments resulting in the production of vehicles. Since these products are subject to trade between Member States, the support given is likely to affect trade between Member States.' (par. 38 of the letter from the EC to Italy - Brussels, 29.04.2009 C(2009) 3051 final)
The Commission has decided that the aid in favour of Fiat Automobiles is compatible with the EC Treaty.
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.