The Commission noted that in certain areas affected by natural disasters was granted some taxes reductions to undertakings that not have suffered any damage at all.
The Article 107(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) provide the principle of incompatibility of State aid with the internal market (prohibition). However, the Treaty specify a number of cases in which State aid could be considered acceptable (the socalled “exemptions”). One of this exemptions concerns aid to make good the damage caused by natural disasters or exceptional occurrences (Article 107(2)(b) du TFEU). Any such aid may cover up to 100% of the damage actually suffered.
The present case concerns several measures adopted by Italy. The European Commission considered that these measures were not limited to the mere compensation for damage actually suffered as a result of the natural disasters.
Therefore, the Commission has prescribed to Italy to take all necessary measures to recover only the incompatible aid granted and paid out to individual undertakings.