ECONOMY

Greece to get EU subsidies of 36.5 bln euros by 2020

Greece has secured European Union funds amounting to 36.5 billion euros in current prices from the new EU budget for the 2014-20 period as approved on Tuesday by the plenary of the European Parliament.

Nearly half of this amount, or 16.28 billion euros, will arrive from the new subsidy program, the 2014-2020 National Strategic Reference Framework, with the government expecting an additional 2 billion euros from the revision of the budget halfway through the period. Greece will get another 4.2 billion euros from the regional funds while the country’s farmers will receive about 2 billion euros per year in subsidies for the next seven years.

The average amount of structural subsidies per square meter for Greece is rising, but direct subsidies will be in decline. Despite that drop, Greek farmers will get the fifth-highest subsidies per square meter in the European Union.

In average structural subsidies, Greece will lie sixth in the bloc.

The most important point in the fund disbursement regulations is that the European Commission will be able to call for a revision of the subsidy programs in member states so that they contribute to the implementation of specific structural reforms. In countries that are in bailout programs, such as Greece, these reforms are those dictated by their creditors.

If a country violates the Stability and Growth Pact rules on excessive deficit and macroeconomic balances, the disbursement of EU funds may be suspended. This means that if Greece chooses to ignore the eurozone fiscal governance rules, it will not only face fines but also lose out on billion of euros in subsidies.