The European Commission has authorised an aid programme worth €300 million for the Wallonia region in order to support the companies facing financial problems as a result of Russia’s full-scale military operation against Ukraine, the EC announced on Monday.
The EC believes that the support is in line with the conditions of the European Union’s temporary crisis framework, which provides for relaxed rules on state aid in the context of the economic repercussions of the invasion in Ukraine. The support 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 as well as debt forgiveness, guarantees, subsidised loans, or equity investments.
The majority of the companies in Wallonia are struggling under the burden of energy bills as well as rapidly increasing inflation. Most of the regional companies, especially in energy-intensive sectors, are struggling to maintain production.
Furthermore, Wallon fertiliser producer Yara was forced to entirely close its site in Tertre because of the high price of gas as well as the Beaulieu yarn plant in Komen will soon relocate to France due to the high cost of energy.