Europe send Portugal another €523 million

SURE scheme has now disbursed full €5.9 billion requested

The European Commission has disbursed €523 million to Portugal today in further loans to support reduced-time work and other programmes to safeguard jobs due to Covid-19.

Explains Lusa, €5.9 billion has already been distributed to the country under the SURE programme.

Two other Member States also received what comes to a total of €2.17 billion in support today.

In a press release, European Commissioner for the Economy Paolo Gentiloni said that “with these additional disbursements, SURE continues to support workers and businesses in Hungary, Poland and Portugal”, and is also a “striking example of the difference that common EU action can make for citizens in times of crisis”.

The SURE loans “help member states cope with sudden increases in public spending to preserve jobs in the wake of the pandemic, supporting expenditure directly related to the funding of national reduced-time work schemes and other similar measures that countries have implemented as a response to Covid-19, including for the self-employed”, says Lusa.

According to figures from Brussels, “Portugal has now collected the total ‘cake’ originally planned”.

Today’s disbursements follow a $2.17 billion (around €2 billion) 15-year bond issue by the European Commission last week under SURE, the news agency adds.

In the EU as a whole, the European Commission has already provided a total of €91.8 billion in ‘back-to-back’ loans under the programme to 19 countries.

‘Back-to-back’ funding allows the European Commission to issue bonds and transfer the proceeds directly to the beneficiary country under the same conditions as it received them (in terms of interest rate and maturity).

“All EU member states that asked to benefit from the scheme received part or all of the amount requested,” concludes the European Commission. 

Consultation of the online page shows only Poland and Romania have still to receive the full amount requested.

To fund SURE, the Commission is issuing up to €100 billion of social bonds, says Lusa. 

“This has already made the EU executive – on behalf of the EU – the largest issuer of social bonds in the world”, the agency concludes.