MBB calls on government to make full use of state aid flexibility

a man wears a mask outside St Julians coronavirus
Miguela Xuereb

The Malta Business Bureau has called on the government to make full use of flexibility proposed under the European Union Temporary Framework on State Aid rules. In a statement on Tuesday, the lobby made a special mention of airlines which are eligible for compensation even if they have received rescue aid in the last ten years.

The European Commission has announced a temporary framework on state aid rules which is now being consulted with EU member states. The temporary framework would allow member states to introduce measures such as schemes of direct grants or tax advantages of up to €500,000 to a company, subsidized state guarantees on bank loans and public and private loans with subsidized interest rates.

The Malta Business Bureau welcomed the initiative by the European Commission which acknowledges that state aid flexibility is required at this desperate time to save strategic companies such as airlines as well as other SMEs facing unprecedented challenges to keep afloat.

“Time is of the essence for these measures to be actioned immediately. The economic slump has come upon companies so swiftly that many businesses cannot copy, particularly as there is no end to this crisis yet in sight,” MBB President Simon De Cesare said.

“Our responsibility is to keep our customers and our employers safe, but also to safeguard their jobs and livelihoods. Companies on the front line like tourism and tourism related sectors are unable to do so without the necessary support nationally and at EU level,” he added.

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