State aid: Commission approves market conform asset protection scheme for banks in Greece

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission. The European Commission has found Greek plans aimed at supporting the reduction of non-performing loans of Greek banks to be free of any State aid. The Commission found that, under the asset protection scheme (known by the name of “Hercules”), the Greek State will […]

State aid: Commission approves support for six offshore wind farms in France

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission. The European Commission has found support to six large offshore wind farms in French territorial waters to be in line with EU State aid rules. The measures will help France reduce CO2 emissions, in line with EU energy and climate goals, without unduly distorting […]

State aid: Commission opens investigation into proposed public support for Peugeot plant in Spain

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission. The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether Spain’s plan to grant €20.7 million of public support to PSA for investing in its existing car plant in Vigo (Spain) is in line with EU rules on regional State aid. Commissioner Margrethe […]

State aid: Commission invites comments on simplified rules for State aid combined with EU support

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission. The European Commission is inviting Member States and other stakeholders to comment on its proposal to exempt from prior Commission scrutiny under EU State aid rules aid granted through national funds for projects supported under certain EU centrally managed programmes. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge […]

European Commission: Does Apple, Starbucks and Fiat really pay their taxes?

The European Commission (EC) decided two days ago to conduct an investigation which will focus on the tax affairs of Apple, Starbucks and Fiat Finance and Trade in Ireland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg respectively. Basically, EC’s purpose is to examine if the tax authorities of the aforementioned countries are in line with the rules of […]

Facilitating the access to finance and risk capital for SMEs and midcaps

As they say better late than never. The EU Commission decided to relax the rules regulating the granting of state aid to SMEs and midcaps. This initiative relates to easing the terms of high risk equity financing of companies with perceived high-growth potential during their early growth stages. In normal financial circumstances high risk capital […]

German and French bankers looted the Irish and Spanish unemployed

According to a Commission‘s new ‘on-line state aid to banks benchmarking tool’ published on 20 December, between October 2008 and December 2012 the EU member states provided €591.9 billion (4.6 % of EU 2012 GDP) of capital support (recapitalisation and asset relief measures) to the financial sector (banks). It was not only that. The same […]

More state aid to big firms, no special provisions for the SMEs

Rules for state aid covering research, development and innovation investments (R&D&I) are already relaxed in the European Union, in order to facilitate growth and job creation. Mind you that in this case the bending of competition rules is not confined to very small businesses, the SMEs and mid cups, but covers the entire constellation of […]

More taxpayers’ money for the banks

Within 24 hours, after the European Sting published on Thursday an article entitled, “Fair completion rules and the law of gravity don’t apply to banks”, and the responsible EU Commissioner Joaquín Almunia, Vice-President of the EC blessed as legitimate the rescue of the Dutch bank and insurance company SNS REAAL by the country’s exchequer with […]

Fair completion rules and the law of gravity don’t apply to banks

There is no end to EU Commission’s approvals of state aid and government bailouts of hundreds of EU struggling banks, as if the extensive fair competition legislation of the Union is valid for every other sector of the economy at the exception of banks. In the latest incident, the EU competition authorities actually looked the […]

ECB is about to lend trillions to banks

The institutionalisation of the Single Resolution Mechanism to deal with failing banks, a new tool to complement ECB’s Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM), two cornerstones in building the European Banking Union, cannot be accomplished correctly, if member states were allowed directly or indirectly to support with public money their failing or about to fail banks, in […]

The EU threatens to impose extra import duties on Chinese products

The powerful EU’s executive arm, the European Commission, announced yesterday its proposal for a new legislation targeted at strengthening the protection of home businesses and products from external competition. It’s a clear effort to help the Union’s economy overcome a deepening recession. The new legislations will be in force early in 2014, after being approved […]

Banks get new capital for free and citizens pay the bill

  Yesterday the European Commission approved “temporarily” the recapitalisation of a Portuguese bank Banif with €1.1 billion. The Commission will take a final decision on the compatibility of the capital injection with EU state aid rules after the assessment of the restructuring measures will be proposed by Portugal. Presumably those restructuring measures will be layoffs […]