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EU Commission: 8.5 billion euros to five States to protect workers. Subsidies to Belgium, Hungary, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia

Today, the European Commission delivered 8.5 billion euros to 5 member States in the third tranche of financial support as part of SURE, the European instrument to mitigate unemployment. Belgium received 2 billion euros, Hungary 200 million euros, Portugal 3 billion euros, Romania 3 billion euros, and Slovakia 300 million euros. “Such support, by way of loans on special terms, will help such member States – as explained in a release by the European Commission – cope with the sudden growth in public expenditure to protect employment”. In this specific case, such support will go towards covering the costs associated with the funding of national working time reduction policies and other, similar measures, including those in support of self-employed people, laid down in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The subsidies delivered today follow the first issue of social bonds as part of SURE, the European Union’s instrument, in which demand was 13 times higher than the available funds. “This led to favourable price conditions that will enable the member States to borrow more than they will have to repay”. The European Commissioner for Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, stated: “The social impact of the Covid crisis would have been much heavier if the European countries had not had strong safety nets, especially the working time reduction policies. I am proud that through SURE the European Commission can proactively support such policies and other, similar measures for self-employed workers, helping millions of citizens carry on in these difficult times”.

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