EU approves EUR 20 million credit for Portugal’s fishery and aquaculture sector
The European Commission has approved a EUR 20 million (USD 21.7 million) line of credit to support Portugal’s fishery and aquaculture sectors through the coronavirus crisis.
The support will consist of loans with subsidized interest rates available to small- and medium-sized businesses active in fishing or aquaculture in Portugal that are struggling with cash difficulties as a result of the current crisis. The scheme was approved under the State Aid Temporary Framework, an emergency measure adopted by the European Commission in March and amended earlier this month.
“The commission concluded that the measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a member state,” it said.
European Commission Executive Vice-President in Charge of Competition Policy Margrethe Vestager said in a press release the underlying loan amount per company will be limited to “what is needed to cover its liquidity needs for the foreseeable future.”
“This Portuguese scheme … will help these companies cover their immediate liquidity needs and continue their activities in these difficult times,” Vestager said. “We continue working closely with member states to ensure that national support measures can be put in place in a coordinated and effective way, in line with E.U. rules.”
The loans are available to fishing companies, producers’ organizations, and companies active in the processing of fishery and aquaculture products. Loans must be signed by the end of 2020 and are limited to a maximum six-year term. They are limited to 25 percent of the company’s sales total in 2019, “with some exceptions in duly justified cases,” according to the European Commission.”
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