Approximately thirty Spanish companies hit economically by the COVID-19 crisis have asked for bailouts between €3 and €3.3 billion from the government in order to survive and remain competitive, EURACTIV’s partner EFE reports.
Among the strategic companies rescued with public money are the airlines Air Europa (recently merged with Iberia) and Plus Ultra Líneas Aéreas, together with tour operator Ávoris and energy company Duro Felguera.
All of them have asked for extra financial support from the public company “Industrial Ownership Corporation” (SEPI) over the last few weeks in order to survive the crisis, with airlines such as flag carrier Iberia, a member of the IAG group, being particularly hit.
The additional money from the SEPI comes on top of the €968 million already approved by the Spanish socialist and left-wing coalition government for these struggling companies.
In view of the long-term effect of the pandemic, the SEPI has decided to extend the deadline for requesting public aid from the Spanish solvency support fund for strategic companies affected by the pandemic, created last July with a €10 billion to last until the end of this year.
Sources in the Spanish government did not rule out an extension of the deadline, should the health and economic situation in the country deteriorate.
So far, the largest request for a bailout in the context of the pandemic comes from CELSA, Spain’s leading steelmaker, which has asked €700 million from the state. Experts however assume the final figure will be lower.
Duro Felguera has already been granted €120 million, while Tubos Reunidos and green infrastructure giant Abengoa have asked for €150 and €249 million respectively.
[Edited by Frédéric Simon]