ECONOMY

Subsidies worth billions at risk

European Regional Policy Commissioner Johannes Hahn warned on Wednesday that Greece stands to lose up to 3.5 billion euros in community subsidies unless some 1,000 regional projects are completed by March 2013 at the latest.

The delays in the implementation of projects from the Third Community Support Framework, concerning the 2000-06 period, and the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF), for 2007-13, were also confirmed in a meeting attended yesterday by the two schemes? monitoring committees.

Hahn stressed that regional authorities will need to accelerate procedures for the implementation of the 1,000 projects, which belong to CSF III, and start negotiations for the next period. He also called on the government to sort out which projects should be pronounced dead, by February 2012.

As for the 180 priority projects funded by the NSRF, only nine have been completed, with a total budget of 100 million euros, the commissioner said, estimating that the completion of all projects will create between 90,000 and 180,000 jobs.