FOR DEBTORS

Interest Subsidy Programme for Outstanding SME Loans

14 July 2021

We support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) affected by the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. We are participating in the new programme launched by the Greek State, which subsidises the interest on loans taken out by SMEs. The programme is co-financed by the Operational Programme Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation (EPAnEK) and uses resources from Greece and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). This way we help you meet your loan obligations for the period 01/01/2021 to 31/03/2021.

Who is entitled to the subsidy

The subsidy is available to SMEs, irrespective of their legal form, which meet certain key conditions.

SMEs, irrespective of their legal form, that legally operate in Greece are entitled to the subsidy (for the definition of SMEs refer to Annex II of Ministerial Decision 24101/25.02.2021 – Government Gazette 757/B/25.02.2021).

Businesses that have received a moratorium on loan principal repayments for the first quarter of 2021 may receive the subsidy.

Credit institutions, public-law legal entities and off-shore companies are not entitled to submit an application.

The key conditions for businesses submitting an application to participate are to:

  1. Operate in any business sector (KAD). Businesses operating in the primary production of agricultural products, fishery and aquaculture sector, preparation, processing and trading of tobacco and tobacco products and certain KADs (business activity codes) for financial and insurance activities are excluded.
    For businesses that commenced operations before 01/01/2020, the check is based on the KAD with the highest revenues (for the excluded business activity sectors refer to Annex V of Ministerial Decision 24101/25.02.2021 – Government Gazette 757/B/25.02.2021). For businesses that commenced operations within 2020, the check is based on the main KAD.
  2. Be included in the SMEs, as defined in Annex II of Ministerial Decision 24101/25.02.2021 – Government Gazette 757/B/25.02.2021.
  3. Exhibit at least a 20% drop in turnover in 2020 compared to their turnover in 2019, based on the information appearing in their E3 tax statement or the income statement for the same financial year.
  4. Not be subject to the exclusion conditions under Article 40 of Law 4488/2017.
  5. Not be businesses in difficulty, as per the provisions under Annex IV “Definition of Businesses in Difficulty” of Ministerial Decision 24101/25.02.2021 – Government Gazette 757/B/25.02.2021, either on 31/12/2019, and based on the provisions of the C(2020) 1863 Communication from the Commission dated 19/03/2020, or before the subsidy is granted.
  6. Not have any orders against them for the recovery of previous illegal or incompatible state aid based on an EU or CJEU decision.

Eligible loans

Fixed maturity loans and bond loans are eligible for interest subsidy. They must be performing loans before you apply.

Loan types

The business loans eligible for interest subsidy are:ηση τόκων μπορούν να λάβουν επιχειρηματικά δάνεια:

  • Fixed maturity
  • Bond loans

These also include:

  • Syndicated loans and credit agreements (revolving credit accounts)
  • Securitised loans and credit (Article 10 of Law 3156/2003)
  • Loans and credit transferred due to sale
  • Loans managed by a special liquidator. Any other type of loan agreement is expressly excluded.

Performing loans

The loans must be performing on 30/09/2020, meaning they should not exceed 90 days past due from the reference date of 30/09/2020.

Loans that were non-performing on 30/09/2020, but became performing before the application for subsidy was submitted, are also eligible.

The loan agreement must have been entered into before 01/01/2021.

Interest subsidy for 3 months

Interest is subsidised from 01/01/2021 to 31/03/2021. The total subsidy a business may receive cannot exceed €1,800,000.

Covered interest

The State subsidy covers the contractual 3-month interest (as well as the corresponding Law 128/75 levy) for loans of eligible businesses from 01/01/2021 to 31/03/2021.

Especially for credit agreements (with revolving credit accounts), the interest is covered for the debit balance based on the last – before or on 31/12/2020 – temporary closing balance of the revolving account, as well as the interest arising from the use of the credit facility available on 01/01/2021.

Payments made after 01/01/2021 that relate to instalments payable before the approval of the application are also covered. In this case, the state aid paid is considered to cover this period and the amounts already paid are offset against the remaining debts of the recipient to the credit institution, at the institution’s responsibility. If there are no debts, amounts already paid by the subsidy recipient are reversed by the credit institution and returned at their responsibility.

Non-covered interest

Default interest and other expenses, as well as the 15% tax withheld for bond loans, are not covered.

In addition, the interest on loans granted jointly with the Entrepreneurship Fund II and the COVID-19 Loan Guarantee Fund of the Hellenic Development Bank is not covered.

Subsidy amount

The total amount of the public funding each business may receive (total COVID subsidies, including the aid for the 2nd Round of Interest Subsidy) cannot exceed €1,800,000 in nominal value.

The total public expenditure budget is set at €200,000,000.

How to apply

Online through the State Aid Information Management System. Submit one application for funding per credit institution.

Online until 16/07

Apply for subsidy online through the State Aid Information Management System (PSKE). Look for the section: 

SECOND ROUND OF INTEREST SUBSIDY FOR EXISTING LOANS OF BUSINESSES AFFECTED BY THE MEASURES TO ADDRESS THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Applications may be submitted from 01/03/2021 at 12:00 to 16/07/2021 at 15:00.

To ensure a smooth application process, applications are submitted gradually, based on the last digit of the potential recipient’s Tax Number (AFM), one digit per day: those ending in ONE (1) on the first day, in TWO (2) on the second day, and so on, up to those ending in ZERO (0) on the tenth day.

From the 11th day onwards and up until the deadline for submitting applications, all interested parties may apply at any time, irrespective of their Tax Number.

1 application per credit institution

You can submit one application for funding per credit institution, which includes all your eligible liabilities to said institution, and attach the required documents.

If it is a syndicated loan, the application is submitted to the agent of the borrowers. If the agent of the borrowers is a credit institution abroad, it assigns the responsibility and all obligations stemming from it to another credit institution in Greece, while notifying the recipient of the aid.

Your application details

When submitting your application, you must:

  1. Fill in the relevant fields under SUBMIT in the PSKE, as these appear in Annex I of Ministerial Decision 24101/25.02.2021 – Government Gazette 757/B/25.02.2021.
  2. Attach the supporting documents specified in Annex VI of Ministerial Decision 24101/25.02.2021 – Government Gazette 757/B/25.02.2021 in the PSKE.
  3. Submit the application so it may become available for processing in the next stage.

Applications not submitted online cannot receive state aid. The applications for funding through the PSKE must be thoroughly completed.

The application for funding serves as a solemn declaration under Article 8 of Law 1599/1986 for the information appearing in it. Therefore, the contents must correspond to the requested supporting documents.

The application for participating in the action also serves as authorisation to the Managing Authority, the Special Service for the Management and Implementation of Industry, Commerce and Consumer Protection (EYDE-VEK) and the credit institution for further processing of your personal data, including sensitive data.

In addition, upon submitting the application, you accept that the messages sent by the PSKE to the email you declared in the Submit document serve as notifications and imply the start of all legal deadlines and consequences.

Monitoring the progress of your application

The applications are assessed by the credit institutions. You are notified as to whether your application is approved or rejected through the PSKE.

Assessment by the credit institutions

The applications for funding are assessed by the credit institutions through the PSKE, based on the order they were submitted in the system.

Applications for funding that were submitted online and finalised are available for the competent credit institutions to confirm that the formal conditions were met, while the application details are available through the PSKE (in various forms) for use by other parties involved.

Based on the information submitted to the PSKE, the credit institutions:

i) Confirm that the formal conditions are met or not, based on the information on the supporting documents attached to the PSKE by the applicants, and update the PSKE with the result of the assessment.

ii) Proceed with paying the subsidy to the applicants/recipients of the aid every month, according to their loan agreement, updating the PSKE about the amount of the subsidy paid in the most appropriate manner. If the loan/credit agreement does not offer the option of monthly repayments, but rather repayments over a longer period, the subsidies are paid proportionately for the period that corresponds to Ministerial Decision 24101/25.02.2021 – Government Gazette 757/B/25.02.2021.

If certain supporting documents are missing

When assessing your application, if the competent credit institution discovers that certain supporting documents are missing or contain ambiguities, they will ask you to amend or add to the supporting documents submitted to the PSKE within a reasonable deadline, which does not exceed 20 calendar days.

The credit institution posts the correct supporting documents in the PSKE, amending the details in the relevant assessment file. If the deadline expires, it may proceed with a negative assessment for your case.

In the case of syndicated loans to eligible businesses, the application and all the supporting documents are submitted to the agent of the borrowers.

If your application is approved

If the result of your assessment is positive, the PSKE is updated with the estimated total subsidy amount you are entitled to, meaning the amount of the estimated contractual interest. If it is a syndicated loan, the update concerns the entire loan.

You are notified of the approval of your applications through the CHANGE in STATUS on the PSKE field and an automated online message generated by the system that includes the date of approval and the amount of the subsidy you will receive.

The date the results are finalised on the PSKE is also the date the subsidy is granted for each proposal from the relevant credit institution.

If your application is rejected

If your business does not meet the formal conditions for inclusion, the EYDE-VEK issues a rejection decision, which includes the points that are not met. This decision is notified through an online message.

It is presumed that recipients who do not receive a rejection decision have been approved. If it is a syndicated loan, the application is assessed by the agent of the borrowers.

Lodging an appeal

Within 5 working days from being notified of the results of the assessment, you may submit an administrative appeal online through the PSKE, which is reviewed by the Appeals Committee. To submit the appeal online, fill in the relevant fields in the APPEALS section.

The appeals are reviewed through the PSKE. Decisions on the appeals are issued within 15 working days and are sent to the DA and the beneficiary (EYDE-VEK), so a supplementary approval decision may be issued, as well as to the relevant credit institution, in the event that the initial assessment is cancelled, so it may pay the subsidy.

You are notified of the approval or rejection of your appeal by email and through the PSKE, so you may become aware of the results of your review on time.

The date the assessment is finalised on the PSKE is also the date the subsidy is granted.

How your subsidy is paid

The subsidy amount that corresponds to you for the repayment of your interest is transferred into your loan account from a special account.

Transfer from a special account

For the payment of the state subsidy to the recipient, the credit institution opens a special purpose account in favour of the Greek State, where the State credits the subsidies for all beneficiaries in 3 instalments.

The subsidy amount that corresponds to you for the repayment of your interest is transferred into your loan account from this account.

Obligations of subsidy recipients

The subsidy recipients must be consistent with their financial obligations, as these are expressly stipulated and listed in Ministerial Decision 24101/25.02.2021 – Government Gazette 757/B/25.02.2021.

Find out about the interest subsidy programme for existing SME loans

Contact the Information Desk of the Ministry of Development and Investments to get answers to all your questions:

You may also view basic information about the programme on the Ministry of Development and Investments website

For technical issues relating to the State Subsidy Information Management System (PSKE), contact the Helpdesk of the Development Programme Management Organisation Unit:

Note that the information in this page does not in any way substitute issued Ministerial Decision 24101/25.02.2021 – Government Gazette 757/B/25.02.2021, which is the only document containing exhaustive information about the relevant subsidy.

The Interest Subsidy Programme for Loans of SMEs Affected by COVID-19 relates to aid offered to businesses affected by the pandemic in the form of payment of interest on their business loans. This Action forms part of the temporary framework of state aid measures taken to support the economy during the outbreak of COVID-19 and is co-financed by Greece and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), in the context of OP Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation (EPAnEK).

The Special Service for the Management and Implementation of Industry, Commerce and Consumer Protection (EYDE-VEK) of the Ministry of Development and Investments will ensure that the required funds are transferred to the credit institutions.