ANNOUNCEMENT 24 Mar 2020

In March 2020, the European Commission approved a Spanish aid measure consisting of two loan guarantee schemes for the amount of EUR 20 billion (around USD 21.6 billion), as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS

1

  • 1 harmful
  • 0 neutral
  • 0 liberalising

SOURCE

European Commission. Press release. 24/03/2020. State aid: Commission approves €20 billion Spanish guarantee schemes for companies and self-employed affected by coronavirus outbreak. Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_20_520

SA.56803 COVID-19 - Guarantee scheme to companies and self-employed to support the economy in the current COVID-19 outbreak. Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/competition/elojade/isef/case_details.cfm?proc_code=3_SA_56803

EUROPEAN COMMISSION. Subject: State Aid SA.56803 – Spain. COVID-19 - Guarantee scheme to companies and self-employed to support the economy in the current COVID-19 outbreak. Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/competition/state_aid/cases1/202013/285233_2142736_57_6.pdf

Inception date: 24 Mar 2020 | Removal date: 05 Aug 2020

Loan guarantee

On 24 March 2020, the EU approved a EUR 20 billion (approx. USD 21.6 billion) Spanish aid measure consisting of three loan guarantee schemes, as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The three guarantee schemes aim to limit the risks associated with issuing operating loans to companies severely affected by the economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, allowing Spanish companies to continue their activities and safeguard jobs. They will refinance operations for self-employed workers and SMEs; as well as larger companies.

In this context, Margrethe Vestager, the Executive Vice-President in charge of competition policy, stated that “these two Spanish guarantee schemes on new loans and refinancing operations Spain will support self-employed workers and small and medium-sized enterprises affected by the coronavirus outbreak to weather the crisis”.

Moreover, the Commission noted that “the measure is liable to distort competition since it strengthens the competitive position of its beneficiaries”. Regardless, the Commission approved the state aid without raising objections, concluding that the measure “is compatible with the internal market pursuant to Article 107(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union”.

The state aid is approved under the Temporary Framework under the State Aid and its amendment of 2 April 2020. The European Commission adopted the Temporary Framework under the State Aid rules of the European Union on 19 March (see related state act).

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