BERLIN (Reuters) – The European Union is considering offering aid to companies that have fallen on hard times due to the coronavirus pandemic and are not receiving support from their national governments, EU economics commissioner Paolo Gentiloni told Handelsblatt.
Germany and France – the bloc’s two biggest economies – have come together behind a plan to dole out 500 billion euros to states hit hardest by the pandemic.
“We are considering including a new instrument in our reconstruction plan: solvency aid for companies that do not receive support in their home country,” Gentiloni told Handelsblatt and four other European newspapers.
“This is important for pan-European value chains, for example in the car industry. If one link fails there, all the others are affected,” Gentiloni said.
Of the pandemic’s impact on life in the EU more generally, he added: “We have to live with the pandemic for weeks, maybe months.”
The summer holidays would be “very different from what we are used to”. The EU must do everything it can to help the tourism industry, which, especially in southern Europe, “makes a substantial contribution to annual economic output,” he added.
(Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Toby Chopra)