ECONOMY

Bulk of EU resources headed to local government

The bulk of the European Union subsidies for the 2014-20 period, adding up to 23.1 billion euros, is on its way to the country’s regional authorities. This includes 4.2 billion from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

The EU contribution to the new program of subsidies, known as the National Strategic Reference Framework, amounts to 20 billion euros – 85 percent on average depending on the project – while Greece will contribute the remaining 15 percent, or 3.1 billion euros, according to a presentation made on Monday by Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis.

Out of that package, more than half – i.e. 12.1 billion euros – will be directly absorbed via the regional programs, while the other 11 billion will be in the form of funds to be allocated for strengthening entrepreneurship, the creation of transport and environmental infrastructure, developing human resources and reforming the public sector through the programs administered by the ministries.

Hatzidakis admitted the resources are well below the country’s actual needs but pledged that the government will try to make the most of them.