FINANCE

Five criteria for EU financing

‘Green’ and digital projects or export-orientated investments to be selected for funding

five-criteria-for-eu-financing

The government has concluded the five criteria based on which investment projects will be selected for financing under the Next Generation EU fund.

It is a mix of European requirements for investments that have a “green” and digital character, in line with the directives of the European Commission, and of national criteria such as an orientation towards exports, research and innovation, as well as business cooperation, including mergers and acquisitions.

Besides the credit incentives, the government is also considering tax incentives for strengthening business cooperation, so as to see larger companies and improve the competitiveness of the economy.

Competent sources say that the criteria will be defined further over the coming weeks ahead of their formal inclusion in the legislation in May so that the investment projects can begin.

The government estimates that the investments to be finance by European resources could reach up to 3 billion euros in 2021, based on the deposit to be collected, This will amount to 13% of the full loan that will reach up to €12.7 billion. The loan may not exceed 50% of the total investment, with at least 20% coming from the investor and at least 30% from a bank.

The negotiations with the Commission on the final form of this means of financing have not been completed yet, but the Greek negotiating team, coordinated by Alternate Finance Minister Theodoros Skylakakis, aspires to secure an agreement on the country’s proposal about funding private investments. The Greek side is pinning its hopes on the Commission decision about utilizing the loans as funding tools “in exceptional circumstances.”

The response to date by banks and some private investors points to huge interest. The government also harbors great expectations for the 2021 economic recovery from the contribution of the EU funds. The year’s budget provides for €5.5 billion euros in projects funded by Brussels, which would boost the country’s gross domestic product by 2.1%.