Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

European Commission approves regional aid to Greek companies

Written by Eric Apim on Thursday, January 6th 2022 à 17:30 | Read 270 times

Several disadvantaged Greek regions, such as Crete, will be able to better help their companies (photo: F.Dubessy)
Several disadvantaged Greek regions, such as Crete, will be able to better help their companies (photo: F.Dubessy)
GREECE. In order to fight against disparities on its territory, the Greek government has set up a map of regional aid to businesses for the period 2022-2027. The European Commission has just, on Thursday 6 January 2022, approved it within the framework of the new guidelines of the EU rules on state aid adopted on 19 April 2021 for entry into force on 1 January 2022.

As Margrethe Vestager recalled in April 2021, at that time, "the new regional aid guidelines adopted today will allow Member States to help Europe's least favoured regions catch up and reduce disparities in economic welfare, income and unemployment." According to the European Commission's Executive Vice-President for Competition Policy, "these cohesion objectives are at the heart of our Union. We have also extended the possibilities for Member States to support regions facing transitional or structural challenges such as depopulation, so that the guidelines fully contribute to the green and digital transitions while ensuring a level playing field between Member States."

12 regions concerned

Athens has jumped on this revision of the texts to identify the regions eligible for investment aid. There are twelve of them* and they are among the most disadvantaged in the EU, with a GDP per capita of less than 75% of the European average. They cover 82.34% of the Greek population.

The map also sets out the maximum aid intensities (maximum amount of state aid per beneficiary) that these regions can receive, expressed as a percentage of the eligible costs of the investments. They range, depending on the GDP of the area concerned, from 30 to 50% of the total investment amount for large companies. At the same time, in several regional districts**, the maximum aid intensity will reach 25%, with the exception of Dytikos Tomeas Athinon/West Athens, which is considered too close to the first mentioned regions, and will be 15%. The aim is that the difference in aid intensity in the neighbouring areas should be limited to 15%.

In all the above-mentioned regions, "the maximum aid intensities may be increased by ten percentage points for investments made by medium-sized enterprises and by twenty percentage points for investments made by small enterprises, for their initial investments with eligible costs not exceeding €50 million", states a European Commission press release.

The European Commission's green light, which is given individually to each Member State submitting an application, makes it possible to approve the geographical areas in which companies can benefit from such aid (assisted regions) as well as the level of such aid (aid intensities).

* Voreio Aigaio / Northern Aegean, Notio Aigaio / Southern Aegean, Kriti / Crete, Anatoliki Makedonia, Thraki / Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, Kentriki Makedonia / Central Macedonia, Dytiki Makedonia / Western Macedonia, Ipeiros / Epirus, Thessalia / Thessaly, Ionia Nisia / Ionian Islands, Dytiki Elláda / Western Greece, Sterea Elláda / Central Greece and Peloponnisos / Peloponnese.

** Dytikos Tomeas Athinon / Western Athens, Anatoliki Attiki / Eastern Attica, Dytiki Attiki / Western Attica and Peiraias, Nisoi / Piraeus Islands.


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