ECONOMY

Programs to boost employment

Labor Minister Giorgos Koutroumanis announced on Tuesday the start of new programs for the bolstering of employment and social protection, budgeted at 1.23 billion euros.

He told a press conference that the programs will be launched this month and next and will benefit 289,294 people.

Contributing to the planning and execution of the programs are the General Secretariat for Management of Community and Other Resources, as well as the Manpower Organization (OAED).

Koutroumanis further pointed to the fact that the process of incorporating projects in the European Union-subsidized program has taken last March?s 46.67 percent rate for EU fund absorption (amounting to 1.24 billion euros) to 69.21 percent this month (amounting to 1.84 billion euros).

Greece desperately needs to absorb as much EU funding as possible and Koutroumanis stressed that project contracts have grown from 721 million euros last year to 1.288 billion euros this year.

?Not a single euro is going to be left unused,? the minister promised.