Malta receives €120 million in COVID-19 support

FILE PHOTO: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen holds a news conference detailing EU efforts to limit economic impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Brussels, Belgium April 2, 2020. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/Pool/File Photo

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The European Commission has paid €14 billion to nine EU countries as part of the financial support set in place to assist Member States to help mitigate unemployment risks in an emergency during the COVID-19 pandemic – the SURE programme.

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said: “The second wave is hitting Europe hard. The EU is here to support. We want to protect people from this virus and we also want to protect their jobs, as this crisis affects businesses too. Many jobs are on the line. With SURE, we mobilise up to €100 billion in loans to EU countries to help finance short-time work schemes. This second disbursement of €14 billion will help workers receive an income. More will come.”

This support, in the form of loans granted on favourable terms, will assist these Member States in addressing sudden increases in public expenditure to preserve employment as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including for the self-employed.

Commissioner Johannes Hahn, in charge of Budget and Administration, said: “It has been an overwhelming success and I am glad that as a result of it citizens in more of our Member States are getting the much-needed support at times of crisis.”

The €120 million received brings the total assistance towards Malta to €244 million. Today’s disbursement follow the second issuance of social bonds under the EU SURE instrument, marked by very strong investor interest.

Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni said: “In these sombre times for so many European workers and companies, I am proud that the Commission is helping to bring hope and support.”

The bonds issued by the EU under SURE benefit from a social bond label. This provides investors with confidence that the funds mobilised will serve a truly social objective.