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Commission approves €100 million Italian scheme to support catering services operators in the context of the coronavirus pandemic

The European Commission has approved a €100 million Italian scheme to support catering services in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. The scheme was approved under the state aid Temporary Framework. Under the scheme, the aid will take the form of direct grants up to €10,000 per operator. The remaining budget will be distributed among the eligible beneficiaries based on the ratio between the number of employees of each operator and the total number of employees of all beneficiaries. The measure will be open to catering services operators of all sizes.

The aim of the scheme is to help the beneficiaries address their liquidity needs and to help them continue their activities during and after the pandemic. The Commission found that the Italian 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 measure 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.101883 in the state aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.

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