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Commission approves Czech scheme, including €8.3 million budget increase, to support travel agencies affected by the coronavirus pandemic

The European Commission has found a Czech guarantee aid scheme to support travel agencies, including €8.3 million (approximately CZK 200m) budget increase, to be in line with the state aid Temporary Framework. The scheme is a re-introduction of a measure approved by the Commission in May 2021 (SA.61837) which expired on 31 December 2021. The public support will take the form of bank guarantees, securing these beneficiaries’ co-participation under a compulsory insurance against bankruptcy. The support will help travel agencies that are facing a lack of liquidity to obtain such an insurance, allowing them to continue their activities during and after the pandemic. The Commission found that the Czech scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, the aid (i) will not exceed €2.3m per beneficiary; and (ii) will be granted no later than 30 June 2022.

The Commission concluded that the measure is 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 set out in the Temporary Framework. On this basis, the Commission approved the scheme 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.101455 in the state aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.

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