The coronavirus will lead to GDP in all EU Member States contracting by an average of 8.3 per cent this year. But according to some forecasts, just a year after the recession, there will already be little traces left. We have reviewed the aid programmes in various countries. It is the biggest fish that have gained the most – airlines and international corporations.
A few days ago, the European Commission agreed to support two coronavirus-related research projects. Apeptico will receive a grant of €840,000 and Panoptes will receive €1.2 million. The money is to be spent on research into two drugs for coronavirus patients.
The Austrian programme to help businesses is worth €8 billion, which will go on: compensation of 75 per cent of fixed costs for three months. For small and medium-sized enterprises, the Austrian government has prepared guarantees for working capital loans, 100 per cent guarantees for loans of up to €500,000, though note that enterprises from the agriculture and fisheries sector are limited to loans of €100-120,000. For those that need a higher loan – up to €25 million – the guarantee will cover 90 per cent.
At the end of June, the European Commission approved a €21 million programme to support the production of medical products, equipment, technologies and raw materials related to COVID-19 in the Flemish region. In May, the Belgian government provided €25 million to support coronavirus-related research and development in the Walloon region. In April, companies from the Brussels region received €4 million for the same purpose.
Other industries have received a total of €780 million in loans. Belgium allocated €903 million towards trade credit insurance to protect companies against the risk of non-payment by clients. Exporters received €500 million in the form of guarantees.
The Bulgarian programme to support medium-sized companies is worth €102 million. It will take the form of direct grants of up to €75,000 per company, and will be accessible to companies active in all sectors except primary production and the processing of agricultural products, fisheries, aquaculture, forestry, and the financial and gambling sectors. A €88 million programme for direct grants to micro and small businesses was launched in May. The SME sector can also count on guarantees from the Bulgarian Development Bank amounting to €255 million. All companies can also apply for wage subsidies, the government has allocated €770 million for this purpose and companies can receive subsidies of up to 60 per cent of wage costs.
The Cypriot government has allocated €106,000 in direct grants to newspaper publishers. Airlines received €6.3 million. The subsidy for one company cannot exceed €800,000 and depends on the given airline’s load rate, and may be used by carriers operating flights to and from the island.
The micro-businesses sector received €100 million in direct subsidies, with up to €6,000 available per company. There is another €180 million also for larger companies, to reduce the interest rate on loans taken out after 1 March 2020. Cypriot farmers will receive €1.8 million as a direct subsidy.
Companies can also take advantage of deferred VAT payments, under a programme with an allocated budget of €33 million. VAT payments due on 10 April, 10 May and 10 June can be deferred, with companies able to pay the tax by 10 November at no additional cost.
There is a programme of €2.6 million in direct subsidies for companies in the Moravia region. The whole programme put in place by the Czech government for the sector of small and me