Money no problem for task force

Recession has hit Greeks hard in recent years and a better utilization of EU investment subsidies (the National Strategic Reference Framework program, or NSRF) will help kick-start the economy again, the newly arrived head of a special European Union task force that will provide technical assistance said Thursday.

?Money is not the big problem… the problem is to put it to good and effective use,? Horst Reichenbach told a news conference in Athens.

He said he was impressed with the government?s will to tackle problems and the number of reforms it is currently pursuing. ?In all my contacts, I have seen enormous political will,? said Reichenbach, a former official of the European Commission.

The 25-member team, which will prepare quarterly reports on Greece?s reform progress, will have three basic priorities, he said: dealing with budget problems — particularly revenue collection — the development of e-government and health system reforms.

Reichenbach said a basic goal is to boost the potential for growth and tap the ?huge employment opportunities? that remain dormant because of the lack of bank liquidity — a difficult problem to resolve.

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