Spain sets aside another EUR50 billion for ailing companies

MADRID (AP) — The Spanish Government announced yesterday it is making available another EUR50 billion in aid for companies struggling to weather economic difficulties brought by the new coronavirus outbreak.

The government said after an extraordinary Cabinet meeting it will provide EUR40 billion in loan guarantees for new investments, especially in the fields of technology and the green economy. A previous loan guarantee scheme, worth EUR100 billion and launched in March, met high demand from businesses.

The government is also setting aside EUR10 billion to help strategic industrial companies with liquidity problems, through purchases of company shares or debt, for example.

Also yesterday, the government signed a pact with labour groups and employers’ associations to work together on saving jobs and developing the economy.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said the broad and largely symbolic agreement “sends a message of confidence” to markets and Spain’s trading partners, adding that more aid will come from the European Union’s planned economic recovery measures.

The government’s plan to hike corporate taxes could test the deal in coming months, however.

A group of women walk past beside a man seated while wearing face masks during the last day of the lockdown in Pamplona, northern Spain. PHOTO: AP