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Commission authorises Austrian scheme for farmers aid

The European Commission authorised an Austrian scheme with a budget of approximately €1.2 million which aims at supporting farmers in Austria who encounter difficulties as a result of the current economic crisis.

The scheme is open to farmers in all sub-sectors of primary agricultural production, provided they were not already in difficulty on 1 July 2008 (i.e. before the beginning of the crisis). The scheme limits the aid granted to farmers to amounts of up to €15,000.

Aid under this scheme can be granted until 31 December 2010 and complements other crisis measures already put in place by the Austrian authorities in application of the Temporary Crisis Framework. The scheme provides aid in the form of direct grants, interest rate subsidies, subsidised loans and subsidised guarantees. It will be granted by the Bund and the Länder.

This scheme is a further application of the Commission's Temporary framework for State aid measures to support access to finance in the current financial and economic crisis, as amended end of October 2009 in order to allow Member States to grant limited amounts of aid to primary agricultural producers.

The new Austrian scheme meets all the conditions of the Temporary Crisis Framework as amended. In particular, the Austrian authorities demonstrated that it is necessary, proportional and appropriate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy. The Commission therefore considered that the scheme can be approved under Article 107(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

Full text of the Commission decision

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