April 18, 2020

35.5 M Euro direct grant scheme OK'd by EC to support Latvian agri, fishery sectors



The European Commission (EC) has approved a €35.5-million (US$38.6-million) support scheme for the agricultural, fishery, food and school-catering sectors of Latvia, in the context of the coronavirus outbreak.


The scheme was approved under the new state aid Temporary Framework adopted by the Commission on March 19 and amended on April 3.


The Temporary Framework aims to support the economy in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. It recognises that the entire EU economy is experiencing a serious disturbance and enables member states to use the full flexibility foreseen under state aid rules to support the economy while limiting negative consequences to the level playing field in the single market.


EC Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said, "The €35.5-million direct grant scheme approved today (April 16) will support Latvian businesses active in agriculture, fisheries, food and school catering, and will help them continue their activities in these difficult times."


The aim of the scheme is to help these businesses cope with the liquidity problems brought about by the coronavirus crisis by compensating them for losses linked to the slowdown in economic activity.


Under the Temporary Framework, the maximum amount of aid that can be granted to a company active in the primary agricultural sector is €100,000; €120,000 to a company active in the fishery and aquaculture sector; and €800,000 to a company active in the food and school catering sectors.


The Temporary Framework will be in place until the end of December 2020.