ECONOMY

EU funds to help enhance equity, care

eu-funds-to-help-enhance-equity-care

Greece will use the money provided through the EU’s Recovery Fund – 18.2 billion euros in subsidies and €12.7 billion in loans, to be augmented by private capital – to aid vulnerable groups, small and medium-sized enterprises, the islands and culture, while also placing emphasis on training programs, government officials say.

The use of the funds is also a rebuke to objections by the main opposition SYRIZA party, which claims that those who will benefit from the Recovery Fund are “the few and the haves,” the same officials said.

The national plan submitted to the EU provides specific actions for the benefit of youth, women, the elderly, farmers, people with special needs and marginalized groups, officials said.

For children and youth, the plan calls for digital upgrades in all school classes; vouchers that students will use to acquire tech tools; robotics and enhanced STEM classes in the country’s public magnet schools; laboratory equipment for post-secondary institutions; re-training for young tourism industry professionals; and training of army recruits in digital skills.

For women, it foresees more nurseries, especially at or near their workplace; also, and not only for women, closer monitoring of discrimination in the workplace and career development chances being available to all. There will also be funds for training private and public sector employees on diversity and discrimination issues.

There will be projects improving accessibility at public and private spaces, an issue where Greece significantly lags, as well as personal care for the elderly and people with special needs and early interventions for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

For the islands, the government’s plan includes port upgrades, 5G connectivity and fiber optic cables connecting them to each other and the mainland, as well as, waste treatment facilities in small communities.

Money will also be dedicated to supporting the local cinema industry and promoting Greek culture abroad.