Commission approves €20 million Portuguese credit line scheme to support fishery and aquaculture sector in #Coronavirus outbreak

| April 15, 2020

The European Commission has approved a Portuguese scheme to support the Portuguese fishery and aquaculture sector in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the state aid Temporary Framework adopted by the Commission on 19 March 2020, as amended on 3 April 2020.

The public support will consist in the provision of loans worth up to €20 million with subsidized interest rates. The scheme, accessible to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) active in the fishery and aquaculture sector, aims at enabling those companies that are most affected by the current crisis, to have access, at reduced costs, to the financial means they need to maintain their activities.

The Commission found that the measure is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. The Commission concluded that the measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a member state, in line with Article 107(3)(b) TFEU and the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework.

On this basis, the Commission approved the measure under EU state aid rules. Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “This Portuguese scheme will enable the provision of loans worth up to €20 million at subsidized interest rates to small and medium-sized enterprises active in the fishery and aquaculture sector. It will help these companies cover their immediate liquidity needs and continue their activities in these difficult times. We continue working closely with member states to ensure that national support measures can be put in place in a co-ordinated and effective way, in line with EU rules.”

The full press release is available online.

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