The European Commission has authorised an aid programme worth €300 million for the Wallonia region in order to support companies facing financial difficulties as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the EC announced on Monday.
The Commission believes that this aid is in line with the conditions of the EU’s temporary crisis framework, which provides for relaxed rules on state aid in the context of the economic repercussions of the war in Ukraine. Aid will go towards meeting the liquidity needs of affected companies, especially those impacted by sanctions or counter-sanctions.
Under the Walloon programme, €200 will be allocated in the form of guarantees and €95 million as subsidised loans. A further €5 million will be allocated to limited-amount aid schemes, which include moratoriums and debt forgiveness, guarantees, subsidised loans, or equity investments.
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Many companies in Wallonia are struggling under the burden of energy bills and rapidly rising inflation. Many companies in the region, especially in energy-intensive sectors, are struggling to maintain production. Others cannot import the necessary raw goods and materials they need due to high prices and EU sanctions.
Walloon fertiliser producer Yara was forced to entirely close its site in Tertre due to the high price of gas and the Beaulieu yarn plant in Komen will soon entirely relocate to France due to the high cost of energy.