ECONOMY

Rate of fund absorption is improving

The Greek rate of European Union subsidy absorption for the 2007-13 funding period is above the bloc’s average, Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis stated on Monday, illustrating the progress Greece has made in this field that is crucial for the country’s return to growth.

The minister presented data showing the payment of 11.5 billion euros by the end of March out of the total of 20.2 billion Greece is entitled to from the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) – i.e. a 56.7 percent rate. The country has a 2015 deadline to absorb the remaining 8.7 billion euros.

Greece’s rate is the eighth highest among the 27 EU member states, up from 13th in February. The average EU rate stood at 49.2 percent in March. Ireland stood in first place with an absorption level of 67.6 percent.

Hatzidakis stressed that progress in the use of EU subsidies will accelerate in the coming months with the further simplification of fund absorption procedures that was recently turned into law, as well as the restarting of major projects, the application of programs to support small and medium-sized businesses, and other projects.