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English Section

EU OKs Polish plan to help firms hit by virus

28.04.2020 11:30
The European Commission says it has approved a Polish plan to offer billions in state support for companies hit by the coronavirus.
Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of competition policy.
Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of competition policy. Photo: PAP/EPA/STEPHANIE LECOCQ

The EU executive said on Monday it “has approved a Polish scheme in the form of repayable advances, with a total budget of EUR 16.6 billion (approximately PLN 75 billion), to support the Polish economy in the context of the coronavirus outbreak.”

The European Commission added it was green-lighting the support under temporary state aid rules it originally adopted last month.

Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of competition policy, was quoted as saying: "With an overall budget of EUR 16.6 billion, this scheme will enable Poland to support micro and small and medium-sized companies in addressing their immediate liquidity needs, alleviating their financial burden due to the coronavirus outbreak.”

Vestager added that the measure was expected to help 376,000 companies “minimise the economic losses and maintain their activities during and after the outbreak.”

The European Commission earlier this month approved a Polish loan and guarantee plan aiming to support the economy to the tune of PLN 3.5 billion (around EUR 700 million) amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Poland’s president at the end of last month signed into effect a multibillion relief and stimulus package aiming to shore up the economy and shield the nation from the impact of an intensifying coronavirus outbreak.

President Andrzej Duda this month signed into law a measure to offer further support to the nation’s economy amid the COVID-19 lockdown.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in early April unveiled plans to throw a lifeline of at least PLN 100 billion (USD 24 billion, EUR 22 billion) to businesses hit by the coronavirus epidemic.

The Polish prime minister last Tuesday called for a “new Marshall Plan” for Europe to aid the continent’s recovery from the coronavirus crisis.

Deputy Prime Minister Jadwiga Emilewicz said last week the government in Warsaw was readying a fresh package of measures to protect jobs and “keep the pulse of the economy going” amid the disruption.

A total of 12,089 people have tested positive for the COVID-19 disease in Poland, with 570 deaths from the coronavirus so far, public health officials said on Tuesday morning.

(gs/pk)

Source: PAP, ec.europa.eu