European Commission grants €5.9 billion in financial support to Portugal

The European Commission has presented a proposal to the European Council for a decision to grant €5.9 billion in financial support to Portugal under the SURE instrument.

This follows Monday's proposals to the Council for decisions to grant financial support of €81.4 billion to 15 Member States under the SURE instrument.

Including Portugal, the Commission is now proposing to provide a total of €87.3 billion in financial support under SURE to 16 Member States.

Once the Council approves this proposal, the financial support will be provided in the form of loans granted on favourable terms from the EU to Portugal.

These loans will assist Portugal in addressing sudden increases in public expenditure to preserve employment.

Specifically, they will help Portugal cover the costs related to its short-time work scheme.

SURE is a crucial element of the EU's comprehensive strategy to protect citizens and mitigate the severely negative socio-economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Commission continues to assess a formal request for support from Hungary and expects to put forward a proposal shortly.

The Commission has also approved the modification of Tuscany’s Operational Programme in Italy, redirecting €154.7 million from the EU regional development fund towards coronavirus-related measures.

Of this amount, €10 million will be used to strengthen the health sector, €141 million to support SMEs and €3.7 million for digitalisation in schools.

In addition, the EU co-financing rate will be increased to 100%. This will help beneficiaries of the funding to overcome liquidity scarcity in the implementation of their projects.

Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, said: “As one of the most affected countries by coronavirus in Europe, I am glad to see that Italian regions are more and more taking advantage of the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative.

"It shows the comprehensive approach we need to respond effectively to people’s needs in such hard times: from health to economy as well as education, in line with our motto not to leave anyone behind."

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Martin Banks

Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a highly qualified journalist with many years experience of working within the EU institutions. He is an occasional, and highly valued, contributor to EU today, writing on a wide variety of issues.

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