The European Commission has authorised under EC Treaty State aid rules a Greek scheme aimed at companies encountering financing difficulties as a result of the current credit squeeze. The scheme allows national authorities to grant aid in the form of subsidised guarantees for investment and working capital loans concluded by 31 December 2010. The scheme complies with the conditions of the Commission’s Temporary Framework for State aid measures to support access to finance in the current financial and economic crisis because it is limited in time, respects the relevant thresholds and applies only to companies that were not in difficulty on 1 July 2008.
The Greek authorities designed the scheme on the basis of the rules laid down in the Commission's Temporary Framework on State aid to the real economy during the crisis and in particular the conditions for aid in the form of subsidised guarantees.
The reduction of the guarantee fee can be applied during a period of up to two years in relation to loan guarantees contracted no later than 31 December 2010. Where the duration of the underlying loan exceeds two years, the safe-harbour premiums set out in the Annex to the Temporary Framework may be applied for an additional period of up to a maximum of three years. The maximum duration of guarantees granted under the scheme is limited to five years. The scheme does not apply to firms that were already in difficulty on 1 July 2008 (i.e. before the credit squeeze).
The scheme can be applied to companies of all sizes.