Malta grant to ease impact of war in Ukraine on grain prices gets green light from Brussels

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A Maltese program to cushion the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on grain prices was approved by the European Commission on Wednesday.

The €30 million grant scheme will support companies active in the import, manufacture and wholesale of cereals and other similar products.

The scheme was approved under the temporary state aid crisis framework, adopted by the Commission on March 23, which recognizes that the EU economy is experiencing serious disruption.

Today alone, the HICP index showed food prices in Malta rose 9% in April compared to the same month last year. The National Statistics Office said the rise in the price of bread had an impact on the food index. Overall, Maltese consumers saw prices rise by 5.4% in April, almost a full percentage point more than in March.

The green light from the Commission offers a reprieve at a time when inflation is eroding purchasing power.

Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President in charge of competition policy, said: “This €30 million scheme will allow Malta to mitigate the economic impact of Putin’s war in Ukraine and support companies active in the import of cereals and other similar products affected by the current geopolitical crisis.

She said the EU will continue to stand by Ukraine and its people, while working closely with member states to ensure that national support measures can be put in place in a timely manner. , in a coordinated and efficient manner, while protecting a level playing field in the single market. .
Malta had notified to the Commission under the Temporary Crisis Framework the €30 million scheme to support businesses of all sizes involved in the import, manufacture and wholesale of cereals and other similar products. The aid will take the form of subsidized loans.

The maturity of the loan is limited to two years and the annual interest rates on the loans respect the minimum levels set in the temporary framework. Loan contracts must be signed no later than December 31, 2022.

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