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Commission approves €10 million Maltese support package for the tourism sector in the context of the coronavirus outbreak

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The European Commission has approved a €10 million Maltese support package for the tourism and directly related sectors affected by the coronavirus outbreak and the restrictive measures put in place to limit the spread of the virus. The scheme was approved under the State Aid Temporary Framework. The public support will be open to small and medium-sized enterprises and microenterprises active in the tourism sector and in directly related ones, including notably the accommodation, travel, tourist events and cultural heritage sites sectors. The package consists of three schemes to support in particular: (i) the organization of meetings, conferences, and exhibitions; (ii) cultural heritage sites; and (iii) licensed tour operators offering travel package holidays to Malta. Under all schemes, the aid will take the form of direct grants. The purpose of the package is to address the liquidity needs of the beneficiaries and to help them continue their activities during and after the outbreak.

The Commission found that the Maltese support package is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, the aid (i) will not exceed €2.3 million per company; and (ii) will be granted no later than 30 June 2022. The Commission concluded that the schemes are 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 of the Temporary Framework. On this basis, the Commission approved the support package under EU State aid rules. More information on the Temporary Framework and other actions taken by the Commission to address the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic can be found here. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.64380 in the State aid register on the Commission's competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.

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