An Italian measure of five million euros has been approved by the European Commission to support bus operators that provide tourist transport services in the context of Russia’s war against Ukraine.
Through a statement issued today, the EU Commission also pointed out that based on this measure, aid will take the form of direct grants, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
At the same time, the individual aid amount will be calculated based on the loss of income recorded in 2021, compared to the reference year 2019, and up to a maximum of €150,000 per company.
According to the EU Commission, the aim of the scheme is to support the liquidity needs of eligible beneficiaries and help them overcome their financial difficulties related to the increase in the price of natural gas, electricity, fuel, and raw materials due to the current crisis.
“The Commission found that the Italian measure aligns with the conditions set out in the Temporary Crisis Framework. In particular, the aid (i) will not exceed €2 million per beneficiary; and (ii) will be granted no later than 31 December 2023,” the statement reads.
Moreover, the Commission emphasised that this scheme is necessary, appropriate, and proportionate to correct a severe concern about the economy of a Member State and the conditions defined in the Temporary Crisis Framework.
In June last year, the EU Commission also approved an Italian scheme of five million euros to support tourist bus operators affected by the Coronavirus.
In this regard, the Commission said that such a measure would help the bus companies authorised to carry out covered bus tourist transport services that are not subject to public service obligations.
The authority also added that the purpose of the scheme is to address the liquidity needs of beneficiaries and help them continue their activities during and after the pandemic.
Thus, for bus operators to qualify, they must have at least a 30 per cent drop in traffic during 2021 compared to 2019.
In the same month, the Commission also approved an Italian scheme of €130 million to support the railway and passenger transport sectors affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.
According to the EU Commission, this measure aims to support rail operators by maintaining their competitiveness as well as shifting traffic from road to rail to the levels reached before the Coronavirus pandemic.