Minister takes up SMEs’ cause

Development Minister Nikos Dendias held talks in his Athens office Tuesday with Manfred Weber, the German MEP who heads the European People’s Party (EPP) group in the European Parliament.

One of the subjects raised during the discussion was the Greek government’s desire to use European Union structural funds to subsidize loans to small and medium-sized business. The European Commission has expressed reservations about such a move so far but Athens is trying to build support for the idea within the EU. It is expected that Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will raise the issue on Wednesday with Pierre Moscovici.

The former French finance minister, and his country’s representative on the next European Commission, is due in Athens on Wednesday. The government hopes that it could reduce the loan rates for SMEs by 2 to 3 percentage points if it is able to use the EU funds.

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