EC clears 30 mln euros in state aid for SMEs in Romania

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The European Commission (EC) has cleared the state aid saving scheme for SMEs in Romania, the aid value being of some 30 million euros, according to the Competition Council.

„The state aid scheme is aimed at saving the small and medium-sized enterprises in the portfolio of the Authority for State Assets Realization (AVAS) and of the Ministry of Economy (ME), to provide temporary help to companies in difficulty as a consequence of the world financial economic crisis.

The fact that the EC authorized it represents a sine qua non condition for the scheme to be implemented”, stated Bogdan Chiritoiu, President of the Competition Council.

The total estimated budget of the state aid scheme is of 30 million euros, of which 15 million euros allocated for 2009.
The needed amounts to support the scheme’s budget will be allocated from the state budget, through AVAS and ME budgets.

The maximum value of the state aid to be granted to a beneficiary in the framework of this scheme is the equivalent in lei of 2.5 million euros.
The state aid based on this scheme consists of loans on no longer than six months, with an interest rate equal to the reference rate adopted by EC for Romania, upped with one percent (at present, the reference rate is of 17.29 percent).

Beneficiaries can be economic agents in all activity sectors, with the exception of coal and steel, agriculture, fishery and aquaculture. The maximum estimated number of beneficiaries within the scheme is 15.

The state aid scheme will be applied on a two-year period, respectively 2009-2010, with the likelihood to be further extended by a year in the situation the world financial economic crisis will continue.

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