The European Commission has, for the first time, given the green light to a state-aid scheme specifically designed to help producers of relatively green products.
The scheme, which is one of the measures adopted by France to tackle the current economic crisis, will allow both national and local authorities in France to offer loans at reduced rates to producers of products that are environmentally friendly.
To qualify for the scheme, the products would have to match or exceed the EU’s environmental protection standards.
Other conditions are that companies that apply for support must not have been in financial straits on July 1st 2008, the loans must mature by the end of 2010 and the interest rates offered to small and medium-sized enterprises cannot be more than 50% lower than the market rate. The floor for large businesses is 25% lower than the market rate.
Last month, France received the Commission’s permission for another scheme, to provide businesses with up to €500,000 in support.