The European Commission has today disbursed a total of €17 billion to Italy, Spain and Poland in the first instalment of financial support to Member States under the SURE instrument (employment support). “As part of today’s operations, Italy has received €10 billion, Spain €6 billion, and Poland €1 billion. Once all SURE disbursements have been completed, Italy will receive a total of €27.4 billion, Spain €21.3 billion and Poland €11.2 billion”. Support, “in the form of loans granted on favourable terms – a statement reads -, will assist these Member States in addressing sudden increases in public expenditure to preserve employment”. Specifically, it will help cover the costs directly related to the financing of national short-time work schemes and other similar measures (like the wage guarantee fund) implemented in response to the coronavirus pandemic, in particular for the self-employed. President Ursula von der Leyen stated: “The first disbursements under the SURE instrument are important milestones in our push to preserve jobs and livelihoods. They clearly demonstrate Europe’s solidarity with citizens in Spain, Italy and Poland affected by this unprecedented crisis”.