The European Fee has discovered €24.7 million of Italian help in favour of Alitalia to be consistent with EU state support guidelines. This measure goals at compensating the airline for the damages suffered on sure routes because of the coronavirus outbreak between 1 November and 31 December 2020.
Government Vice President Margrethe Vestager, in command of competitors coverage, mentioned: “The coronavirus disaster and restrictions to restrict the unfold of the virus are persevering with for longer than all of us hoped for. The measure authorized right this moment permits Italy to offer additional compensation for direct damages suffered by Alitalia between November and December 2020 because of such restrictions. We proceed working intently with member states to make sure that nationwide help measures might be put in place in a co-ordinated and efficient method, consistent with EU guidelines. On the similar time, our investigations into previous help measures to Alitalia are ongoing and we’re in touch with Italy on their plans and compliance with EU guidelines.”
The restrictions in place each in Italy and in international international locations with the intention to restrict the unfold of a second wave of the pandemic have closely affected Alitalia’s operations. Italy notified to the Fee an extra support measure to compensate Alitalia for additional damages suffered on sure routes from 1 November 2020 to 31 December 2020 because of the emergency measures essential to restrict the unfold of the virus. This follows the Fee selections of 4 September 2020 and 29 December 2020 to approve Italian measures compensating Alitalia for the injury suffered from governmental restrictions between 1 March 2020 to fifteen June 2020 and 16 June to 31 October 2020, respectively.
The Fee assessed the measure underneath Article 107(2)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which permits the Fee to approve state support measures granted by member states to compensate particular corporations or sectors for injury immediately brought on by distinctive occurrences. The Fee considers that the coronavirus outbreak qualifies as such an distinctive prevalence, as it’s a rare, unforeseeable occasion having important financial impression. Because of this, distinctive interventions by the Member State to compensate for the damages linked to the outbreak are justified.
The Fee discovered that the Italian measure will compensate for damages suffered by Alitalia that are immediately linked to the coronavirus outbreak, because the lack of profitability on the eligible routes because of the containment measures throughout the related interval might be thought of as injury immediately linked to the distinctive prevalence. It additionally discovered that the measure is proportionate, because the route-by-route quantitative evaluation submitted by Italy appropriately identifies the injury attributable to the containment measures, and subsequently the compensation doesn’t exceed what is important to make good the injury on these routes.
On this foundation, the Fee concluded that the extra Italian injury compensation measure is consistent with EU State support guidelines.
Primarily based on complaints obtained, on 23 April 2018 the Fee opened a proper investigation process on €900 million loans granted to Alitalia by Italy in 2017. On 28 February 2020, the Fee opened a separate formal investigation process on an extra €400 million mortgage granted by Italy in October 2019. Each investigations are ongoing.
Monetary help from EU or nationwide funds granted to well being companies or different public companies to deal with the coronavirus state of affairs falls outdoors the scope of State support management. The identical applies to any public monetary help given on to residents. Equally, public help measures which might be obtainable to all corporations comparable to for instance wage subsidies and suspension of funds of company and worth added taxes or social contributions don’t fall underneath state support management and don’t require the Fee’s approval underneath EU state support guidelines. In all these instances, member states can act instantly.
When State support guidelines are relevant, member states can design ample support measures to help particular corporations or sectors affected by the implications of the coronavirus outbreak consistent with the present EU State support framework. On 13 March 2020, the Fee adopted a Communication on a co-ordinated financial response to the COVID-19 outbreak setting out these potentialities.
On this respect, for instance:
- Member states can compensate particular corporations or particular sectors (within the type of schemes) for the injury suffered due and immediately brought on by distinctive occurrences, comparable to these brought on by the coronavirus outbreak. That is foreseen by Article 107(2)(b)TFEU.
- State support guidelines based mostly on Article 107(3)(c) TFEU allow member states to assist corporations address liquidity shortages and needing pressing rescue support.
- This may be complemented by a wide range of further measures, comparable to underneath the de minimis Regulation and the Common Block Exemption Regulation, which can be put in place by member states instantly, with out involvement of the Fee.
In case of notably extreme financial conditions, such because the one presently confronted by all Member States due the coronavirus outbreak, EU State support guidelines enable member states to grant help to treatment a critical disturbance to their financial system. That is foreseen by Article 107(3)(b) TFEU of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
On 19 March 2020, the Fee adopted a state support Momentary Framework based mostly on Article 107(3)(b) TFEU to allow Member States to make use of the total flexibility foreseen underneath State support guidelines to help the financial system within the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The Momentary Framework, as amended on 3 April, 8 Could, 29 June, 13 October 2020 and 28 January 2021, offers for the next sorts of support, which might be granted by member states: (i) Direct grants, fairness injections, selective tax benefits and advance funds; (ii) State ensures for loans taken by corporations; (iii) Subsidised public loans to corporations, together with subordinated loans; (iv) Safeguards for banks that channel state support to the actual financial system; (v) Public short-term export credit score insurance coverage;(vi) Assist for coronavirus associated analysis and growth (R&D); (vii) Assist for the development and upscaling of testing services; (viii) Assist for the manufacturing of merchandise related to deal with the coronavirus outbreak; (ix) Focused help within the type of deferral of tax funds and/or suspensions of social safety contributions; (x) Focused help within the type of wage subsidies for workers; (xi) Focused help within the type of fairness and/or hybrid capital devices; (xii) Assist for uncovered mounted prices for corporations dealing with a decline in turnover within the context of the coronavirus outbreak.
The Momentary Framework will likely be in place till the top of December 2021. With a view to making sure authorized certainty, the Fee will assess earlier than this date if it must be prolonged.
The non-confidential model of the choice will likely be made obtainable underneath the case quantity SA.61676 within the state support register on the Fee’s competitors web site as soon as any confidentiality points have been resolved. New publications of State support selections on the web and within the Official Journal are listed within the Competitors Weekly e-Information.
Extra info on the Momentary Framework and different motion the Fee has taken to handle the financial impression of the coronavirus pandemic might be discovered right here.