Spain declares 11 billion euro package as aid for companies amid COVID crisis
MADRID (SPAIN) – Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez declared on Wednesday an additional 11 billion euro ($13.4 billion) package to extend aid for small and mid-sized companies and the self-employed to cope with the economic crisis because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Though he did not talk much about it comprehensively, however, a government source said the plan, the details of which were still being discussed with the Bank of Spain and the banking sector, would have haircuts for state-back loans and recapitalisation of SMEs.
Its aim is to strengthen corporate solvency after the Spanish government initially granted mainly state-backed loans. The sectors most struck by the crisis, including restaurant owners, however, demanded direct aid.
“We don’t just want to save businesses and jobs. We want to create new businesses and jobs,” Sanchez told parliament.
With more than 3 million cases and more than 68,000 deaths, Spain has been one of the countries most hit by the pandemic. That said, coronavirus incidence slipped below 250 cases per 100,000 people, for the first time in two months on Tuesday.
The tourism-dependent economy shrank a record 11% last year, driving unemployment up to 15.5%.