Belgium will receive the first instalment of €2 billion in loans from the European Commission's 'SURE' programme, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Monday.
SURE is a temporary programme of low-cost loans to the Member States that are spending a lot more money to save jobs as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, von der Leyen said in an interview with VRT.
Belgium is entitled to €7.8 billion in low-interest loans, thanks to this programme, which can reach up to 100 billion.
"We want to protect healthy companies by telling them not to lay off their workers, by preserving expertise and skills in the company, despite the difficulties of this period," von der Leyen said.
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Of the €7.8 billion of "SURE" support going to Belgium, €6.21 billion relates to federal measures and the rest to measures of the federated entities.
The programme can help to cover the costs directly related to the creation or extension of national employment schemes but also other similar measures put in place for the self-employed.
SURE is part of a package of more than €500 billion agreed by Member States in the spring to respond to the first consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.
Additionally, the EU's 27 Member States agreed on a €750 billion programme to boost the European economy this summer.
The Brussels Times