The European Commission is moving forwards. Slowly. Βut it is moving. President Jean-Claude Juncker is determined to ‘rescue’ Greece and goes into EU history as the protector of the European poor and needy. And he will. His Jobs and Growth Plan for Greece was adopted by the European Parliament and it is expected to go into force as of middle of October, that is in less than two weeks.
The ambitious Juncker plan will allow Greece to make full use of EU Structural Funds and thus without to have το cover expenses through national co-financing and thus retrospective for the 2007-2013 package that remained unused.
As everybody knows Greece has no money to co-finance EU-funded projects. But this was not the only reason the EU had stopped pouring money to Athens. The bailout negotiations stop in November 2014 and also led to EU-funds stop as a kind of ‘unofficial sanctions’ that were never officially adopted by the EU to Greece.
But now this bad practice is over.
According to a European Commission statement hailing the EP approval:
“The European Commission welcomes today’s vote of the European Parliament which paves the way for swiftly implementing the Jobs and Growth Plan for Greece presented by the Commission on 15 July. The aim is to allow Greece to make full use of EU funds and inject liquidity into the Greek economy. Greece is set to receive more than €35 billion that is already earmarked for the country from the EU budget over the years 2014-2020 under the European and Structural and Investment Funds.
The proposal from the Commission, which the Parliament has supported today,includes
- the early release of the last 5% of remaining EU payments normally retained until the closure of the programmes in 2017 and
- the complete removal of the need for national co-financing, meaning a 100% EU co-financing rate for 2007-2013. This would translate into immediate additional liquidity of some €500 million and a saving for the Greek budget of around €2 billion.
- increase of the rate of initial pre-financing for programmes for 2014-2020 in Greece by 7 percentage points, which can make available an additional €1 billion upfront.
The Jobs and Growth Plan for Greece is intended to flank the comprehensive set of reforms agreed between the Greek government, the Commission and international partners in the context of the new economic adjustment programme. The Commission also offers technical assistance and expertise to Greece, through its new Structural Reform Support Service (SRSS)to ensure swift activation of the funds and their best use to support recovery, and create foundation for sustainable employment and growth.’
Fine. Let’s see the EU-Funds arriving in Greece. And support thousands of people with great ideas who have no access to funds to make their dream come true.
The EU officials cheer and congratulate each other. EU Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu hailed the EP decision saying:
“I’m very glad that the European Parliament backed our proposals for Greece to fully benefit from the European Structural and Investment Funds. These measures are exceptional because the situation is exceptional; they will help successfully implement the 2007-2013 programmes while kickstarting investments under the new 2014-2020 period. It is a strong message of European solidarity and now it is up to our Greek partners to do their part and ensure a swift and lasting return to growth.”
After Cretu said that she jumped on a plane to Athens to personally bring the good news and also advice the Greek officials on what a country needs to have growth.
Investments in infrastructure are key for growth in #Greece I told Minister #Spirtzis. But action is needed now. pic.twitter.com/abvF4vT8W9
— Corina Creţu (@CorinaCretuEU) October 6, 2015
I already see a discrepancy here: While average Greeks await for the EU-funds to go start their own businesses or improve already existing ones and combat the “ghost of unemployment, recession and misery”, the EU is fixed on ‘big infrastructure projects’. As all Greeks know what this means: that money pours again in the pockets of the well-known national “constructors”, while John Greek gets the crumble of the pie.
Is Greece still an EU-member?
more monies poured down the black hole into the pockets of a few…
i already lived through the ‘paketa delor’ thievery of the late 80s and early 90s…
sad and hopeless…
Welcome to EU.
The funds are designed and conceived to be poured into pockets of the few.
Whence a small percent will wind back to Brussels as gratuity pourboire to certain officials.
Who knows they might even fund some “investor” projects since, it’s all about prosperity innit.
First measure for sustainable growth must be an Aegean ban for all ships run by combustion engines and then start “Project Meltemi”
Nothing to do with me! ;>)))