ECONOMY

Greece makes progress in absorbing EU funds, task force says

Greece has made “striking improvements” in absorbing European Union structural funds as it attempts to unlock sources of growth for its economy, according to a European Commission report.

Of the 20 billion euros ($27.4 billion) of EU funds available to Greece, 67.5 percent had been absorbed by the end of September, compared with 49 percent at the end of 2012, the European Commission Task Force for Greece, headed by Horst Reichenbach, said in a report on Tuesday.

The task force, which is charged with giving Greece technical assistance in rebuilding its economy and public administration, said EU clearance is expected in the coming weeks on financial support for four motorway projects. These have a combined value of 7.6 billion euros and have been suspended for three years due to Greece’s economic crisis.

In the area of tax reform, the task force highlighted “signs of increased efficiency in the tax administration,” with Greece completing 164 audits of large taxpayers in the first seven months of the year, compared with 66 in the same period of 2012, according to the task force. [Bloomberg]