March 21, 2020 / 12:37 PM / 15 days ago

EU approves 300 bln euro French state aid to fight coronavirus

BRUSSELS, March 21 (Reuters) - The European Commission said on Saturday it had approved three French state aid schemes to support the French economy amid the coronavirus epidemic that would mobilise 300 billion euros of liquidity support for affected companies.

Two of the schemes enable the French public investment bank Bpifrance to provide state guarantees on commercial loans and credit lines for firms with up to 5,000 employees.

The third scheme provides state guarantees to banks on portfolios of new loans for all types of companies. This is direct aid to the companies that will enable banks to quickly provide liquidity to any company that needs it.

"Our decision approves three measures taken by the French government to help its economy manage the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak. These are expected to mobilise 300 billion euros of liquidity support for companies affected by this unprecedented situation," said Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager.

Reporting by Jan Strupczewski

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