European Commission approves Latvia's plans to spend EUR 400 million on mitigation of Covid-19 impact

  • 2020-07-23
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The European Commission has approved Latvia's plans to earmark nearly EUR 400 million worth of funds to projects aimed at mitigating the Covid-19 impact, LETA was told at the Finance Ministry. 

According to the ministry's representatives, the European Commission has approved the amendments proposed by Latvia to the program Growth and Employment, envisaging reallocating more EU funds to the health sector, as well as for boosting business activity and employment. 

Latvia had submitted reallocation proposals worth EUR 500 million in total, but for now the Commission has approved proposals worth EUR 386 million. Consultations with the European Commission are still ongoing on the reallocation of EUR 109 million. 

According to the amendments approved by the European Commission, EUR 386 million worth of EU funding will be spent on fueling economic recovery with quickly implementable projects. The money will be allocated first of all to bolster the capacity of the healthcare system, particularly in the areas of infectious diseases and psychiatric.

Support is also being planned for businesses by providing working capital to exporting producers, facilitating production upgrades and fueling economic activity. EU money will also be invested in employment programs and various infrastructure projects, the Finance Ministry said. 

EUR 100 million will be reallocated from the Transport Ministry's suspended projects to the health sector (EUR 30 million), loans and interest subsidies for exporting companies' investment projects (EUR 35 million), employment programs (EUR 20 million) and retraining programs (EUR 15 million).

The European Commission also approved reallocation of financing among line ministries, biodegradable waste projects, regional investment, as well as reallocation of funding among ICT projects. EUR 174 million will be spent on environmentally-friendly public transport projects.