Financial and business news from Bulgaria

European Commission approves BG 8.4 million scheme for tour operators

The European Commission has approved a Bulgarian scheme of approximately €8.4 million (16.5 million leva) to support tour operators affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The measure was approved under the Temporary Framework for State Aid.
The support will take the form of direct grants and will be used by beneficiaries to reimburse their customers' expenses for journeys that were cancelled between 1 March 2020 and 31 December 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic and related measures for limiting the travel required to limit the spread of the virus. The aim of the measure is to help beneficiaries cope with the liquidity shortages they face due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Commission found that the Bulgarian scheme fulfils the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, the aid (i) shall not exceed EUR 1,8 million per beneficiary; and (ii) will be granted no later than 31 December 2021. The Commission concluded that the measure was necessary, appropriate and proportionate to address serious difficulties in the economy of a Member State in accordance with Article 107 (3) (b) TFEU and the conditions of the Temporary Framework. On this basis, the Commission approved the measure under EU State aid rules.