Covid-19: EC approves 6M leva Bulgarian scheme to support tour operators
The European Commission (EC) said on January 19 that it had approved a six million leva (3.07 million euro) Bulgarian scheme to support tour operators affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The announcement came two days after the EC said on January 17 that it had approved a 30 million leva (15.3 million euro) Bulgarian scheme to support companies active in the tourism sector affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The EC said that the measure to support tour operators was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework.
Under the scheme, the aid will take the form of direct grants. In order to be eligible, a company must have recorded a difference of at least 500 leva between its turnover (excluding VAT) in 2019 and its turnover (excluding VAT) in 2020, combined with any state aid received in 2020 and in 2021.
In addition, a company must have recorded a turnover (excluding VAT) higher than 500 leva in both 2018 and 2019.
The aim of the scheme is to provide liquidity support to tour operators having to refund customers for the travels scheduled to take place between March 1 and December 31 2020 and subsequently cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak and the travel restrictions put in place to limit the spread of the virus.
The EC found that the scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework.
In particular, the aid will not exceed 2.3 million euro per beneficiary; and will be granted no later than June 30 2022.
The Commission concluded that the measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of an EU country, in line with the EU Treaty and the conditions of the Temporary Framework.
(Photo: Lance Nelson of banskoblog.com)
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