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State aid in the time of coronavirus: what help for business is too much?

We will remain bound by EU rules for the duration of the crisis and beyond. What assistance measures will the commission permit?

By George Peretz  

Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

Almost everyone agrees that the Covid-19 crisis requires huge payouts by governments to support business. That poses challenges for any regime that seeks—as the EU does—to regulate public subsidies in the general interest of making sure that, in a market without borders, industries in one country are not hit by unfairly subsidised exports coming from another.

The way in which the EU state aid regime deals with those challenges remains a…

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