By the end of the year the government will have submitted an application to Brussels for the disbursement of the first installment from the Next Generation EU fund, amounting to almost 3.5 billion euros.
The request will be approved in the first quarter of 2002, based on what the European Commission’s Deputy Director General Declan Costello said a month ago during his Athens visit.
The entire process has been delayed compared to original estimates, with the government having anticipated the collection of €1.7 billion in October. The Commission has only recently sent the draft of the agreement that is necessary for the satisfaction of the request. This is the description of intermediary targets ahead of the six-month milestones on which the disbursement of each tranche will depend. The government will examine the text and respond in the next few days, and if there is an agreement it will submit the disbursement application.
Nevertheless government officials say there is no shortage of resources: “Let the first €4 billion from the deposit be invested first,” they note, referring to August’s upfront payment.