The Council today approved €87.4 billion of financial support to 16 member states in the form of EU loans under SURE – a temporary EU instrument to mitigate unemployment risks during the COVID-19 crisis.
The support will help the member states finance the severe increase in public expenditure incurred as of 1 February 2020 as a result of the use of national short-time work schemes and similar measures, including for self-employed persons, and some health-related measures in response to the pandemic. SURE is one of the three safety nets, worth up to €540 billion, that were agreed by the Eurogroup on 9 April 2020 and subsequently endorsed by the EU leaders to protect workers, businesses and sovereigns.
“SURE forms an important part of our response to the unprecedented challenges that the COVID-19 crisis has created. Member states’ considerable interest in this instrument confirms its significance and true added value for workers and companies. Millions of workers across the EU will benefit from this instrument. This is a clear signal that Europe is stronger together” notes Olaf Scholz, Germany’s Federal Minister of Finance and Vice Chancellor
Financial support under SURE is granted to member states as follows:
Belgium – €7.8 billion
Bulgaria – €511 million
Croatia – €1 billion
Cyprus – €479 million
Czech Republic – €2 billion
Greece – €2.7 billion
Italy – €27.4 billion
Latvia – €193 million
Lithuania – €602 million
Malta – €244 million
Poland – €11.2 billion
Portugal – €5.9 billion
Romania – €4.1 billion
Slovakia – €631 million
Slovenia – €1.1 billion
Spain – €21.3 billion
Other member states can still present their requests for financial assistance. Up to €100 billion can be provided under this EU instrument.
SURE loans are backed by the EU budget and guarantees provided by member states according to their share in the EU’s GNI, for a total amount of €25 billion.
The guarantee agreements with the Commission have been finalised.
The Commission will now raise funds on international capital markets on behalf of the EU and provide them as back-to-back loans to the member states that requested the loans./ibna