Thirty Spanish companies call on government to bail out COVID-19 –

About 30 Spanish companies economically affected by the COVID-19 crisis have requested bailouts between 3 and 3.3 billion euros from the government in order to survive and remain competitive, EURACTIV partner EFE reports.

Among the strategic companies rescued with public funds are the airlines Air Europa (recently merged with Iberia) and Plus Ultra Líneas Aéreas, as well as the tour operator Ávoris and the energy company Duro Felguera.

All have asked in recent weeks for additional financial support from the public company “Industrial Ownership Corporation” (SEPI) to survive the crisis, airlines such as the national company Iberia, member of the IAG group, being particularly hit.

The extra money from SEPI comes on top of the 968 million euros already approved by Spain’s socialist and left-wing coalition government for these struggling companies.

Given the long-term effect of the pandemic, SEPI has decided to extend the deadline for requesting public assistance from the Spanish Solvency Support Fund for Strategic Companies Affected by the Pandemic, created last July with a budget of 10 billion euros until the end of this year.

Sources within the Spanish government have not ruled out an extension of the deadline, in the event of deterioration of the health and economic situation in the country.

So far, the biggest bailout request amid the pandemic has come from CELSA, Spain’s top steelmaker, which has requested 700 million euros from the state. Experts assume, however, that the final figure will be lower.

Duro Felguera has already received €120m, while Tubos Reunidos and green infrastructure giant Abengoa have asked for €150m and €249m respectively.

[Edited by Frédéric Simon]