Road passenger transport and coronavirus. The Commission approves the new Italian State aids

In accordance with the temporary framework to support the economy and to ensure businesses sufficient liquidity to preserve the continuity of their economic activity during the coronavirus outbreak, on 28 May 2021 the Commission approved the €20 million supplied by the Italian government in the form of direct grants to compensate companies active in road passenger transport for the damages suffered due to the coronavirus.

More particularly, bus companies that operate road passenger transport services on medium and long-haul routes that are not subject to a public service obligation will be allowed to benefit from the scheme in order to mitigate the sudden liquidity shortages they are facing due to the travel restrictions amid the pandemic.

According to the Commission, the measure introduced by the Italian government is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy the companies’ loss of profitability due to the containment measures introduced to face the coronavirus, which can be considered as a damage directly linked to an exceptional occurrence under Article 107(2)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). Furthermore, the measure is in line with the conditions set out in the temporary framework, since it will not exceed €1.8 million per company and will be granted no later than 31 December 2021.

Marco Stillo