The European Commission approves an Italian support program for tourist bus operators in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic

The European Commission has approved a €5 million Italian program to support tourist bus operators affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The announcement was made public through a press release issued by the European Commission, which also pointed out that the scheme had been approved under the State Aid Temporary Framework, reports SchengenVisainfo.com.

This measure will help bus companies authorized to operate tourist transport services with a covered bus that are not subject to public service obligations.

The aim of the plan is to meet the liquidity needs of beneficiaries and help them continue their activities during and after the pandemic. For bus operators to qualify, they must have at least recorded a drop in turnover of at least 30% in 2021 compared to 2019.

The Commission found that the Italian scheme complied with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, the aid (i) will not exceed 2.3 million euros per beneficiary, and (ii) will be granted no later than June 30, 2022.” says the press release.

The authority recently gave the green light to another Italian plan of 60 million euros in favor of companies engaged in the tourism and thermal baths sectors economically affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The European Commission has also announced that this program aims to reduce the labor costs borne by private employers in the tourism and spa sectors and, at the same time, to encourage and maintain employment levels.

In addition, the scheme will exclude new employees employed temporarily or seasonally for three months, with the possibility of the assistance being extended for up to six months.

According to the European Commission, the aid will not exceed 2.3 million euros per beneficiary and will be paid within the month – until June 30.

Previously, the European Commission approved another Italian program worth €129 million to support the tourism sector in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As explained by the European Commission, this scheme consists of limited amounts of aid, which will be allocated in the form of a tax credit for rents linked to tourist activities and will be paid for the period from January to March 2022. .

The European Commission also revealed that public support would not exceed €2.3 million per beneficiary in the case of limited aid amounts. On the other hand, in the event of assumption of the fixed costs not covered, the aid will not exceed 12 million euros per company either.

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