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EU approves 3 billion euros of Portuguese state aid against coronavirus

General view of closed shops and restaurants as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in downtown Lisbon

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission said on Sunday it approved 3 billion euros (2.7 billion pounds) of Portuguese guarantee schemes for small and medium sized companies affected by coronavirus epidemic.

"The economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak is severe. We need to act in a coordinated manner, to help Europe's economy weather this storm and bounce back strongly afterwards. The four Portuguese guarantee schemes for SMEs and midcaps are an important step in this direction," said Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy at the Commission.

(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski)