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Italy gets aid for passenger rail industry from the European Commission

Italy gets aid for passenger rail industry from the European Commission
photo: Archives/Italy gets aid for passenger rail industry from the European Commission
05 / 03 / 2022

Coronavirus pandemic made a hard hit to the transportation industry, and it is no different in the railway passenger business. That is why the European Commission said yes to compensating providers of commercial long-distance rail passenger services in Italy.

Under the EU State aid rules, the European Commission signed off a €687 million support to compensate the providers of long-distance rail passenger services for the damage suffered during the period between 1 July 2020 and 30 April 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “This €687 million measure will enable Italy to compensate long-distance rail passenger operators on commercial lines for the damage suffered as a result of coronavirus related restrictions. We continue working closely with Italy and all other Member States to ensure that national measures to support all sectors that were hit by the crisis, including the rail sector, can be implemented as quickly as possible, in line with EU rules”.

Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic there were restrictions on travel, amount of people that could be on a train, and also hygiene and other measures the rail passenger companies had to implement. All this led to a significant drop in revenues and liquidity problems. And so, the European Commission decided these exceptional occurrences could jeopardize the competitive environment of rail passenger transportation, hence issuing the aid package under the EU State aid rules.

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