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EU sends €1.3 billion to Czech Republic and Slovakia to support employment


Bratislava, Slovakia – The EU Commission has sent more than €1.3 billion to the Czech Republic and Slovakia through the SURE programme to support employment during the pandemic.

On Tuesday, the European Commission disbursed a total of €9 billion to seven member states through the temporary Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency programme, otherwise known as SURE.

Czech Republic and Slovakia receive over €1.3 billion in EU loans

While the Czech Republic and Slovakia received €1 billion and €330 million respectively, other beneficiaries include Italy (€3.9 billion), Spain (€2.9 billion), Croatia (€510 million), Lithuania (€302 million) and Malta (€123 million).

All other six countries had already received funding under the SURE economic support instrument, but this is the first time Czech Republic benefits from the program, which has a firepower of up to €100 billion.

The program’s money is raised through bonds and distributed through loans meant to assist EU member states in covering the added costs and increased spending to preserve employment as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Great news” for employment, says EU Commission head

“With SURE, we mobilise up to €100 billion in loans to help finance short-time work schemes,” commented European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. “Today’s fifth disbursement is great news for the seven EU countries concerned, especially for Czechia who is receiving SURE support for the first time. It will help protect people’s jobs and support businesses across our Union.”

So far, 16 EU member states have already received a total of €62.5 billion under the SURE program in back-to-back loans. The European Commission hopes to raise an additional €25 billion in 2021.

Poland has already received €5.3 billion in previous SURE disbursements (third beneficiary after Italy and Spain), while €500 million were raised for Hungary. Visegrad countries have so far received a total of €7.5 billion in support from the bloc’s emergency financial instrument.