EU firms hit by coronavirus can get loans of up to 5% turnover: source

FILE PHOTO: Outside view of the European Commission headquarters during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Brussels, Belgium, April 23, 2020. REUTERS/ Johanna Geron

April 26, 2020

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Companies in the European Union hit by the coronavirus will be able to ask for a government loan of up to 5% of their 2019 turnover under a new measure proposed by the European Commission, a person familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

The move comes after several EU countries asked for it, other sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Saturday, declining to provide details.

The size of the loan could also be up to 40% of the beneficiary’s annual wage bill, the person said.

The EU executive has in recent weeks relaxed its state aid rules and nodded through trillions of euros via guaranteed loans, grants, subsidised interest rates and short-term export credit insurance offered to virus-hit companies across the bloc.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by David Clarke)

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