ECONOMY

Billions in available EC funding

The development minister said on Thursday there are European Commission funds of 12 billion euros that are immediately available to support growth in Greece by subsidizing projects across the country. These funds are from the previous and new community support framework programs, which will run in parallel at the end of 2015 and will help the country to reach its target of 2.9 percent growth next year.

Nikos Dendias explained that 4.2 billion euros is in the form of currently unabsorbed funds from the 2007-13 funding period that has been extended by two years, while another 4.9 billion from the new funding period (2014-20) will be forwarded to Greece early for new “front-heavy” actions, and the remaining 2.9 billion will be to finance so-called “bridge projects,” subsidized works that started during the 2007-13 period but will not be completed by the end of the program in December 2015.

While presenting plans for the new funding period, Dendias referred to the negotiations procedure that allows for the early inflow of funds to Greece from the 2014-20 framework, even before the new programs are approved by the European Commission.

The front-heavy actions, Deputy Minister Odysseas Constantinopoulos explained, include some 700 projects with a total budget of 4 billion euros, to which actions that strengthen employment in Greece budgeted at 700 million euros will be added. Although he stopped short of naming any, Constantinopoulos said they will come from mature projects from the 2007-13 period that could not be funded by the previous framework either due to lack of time or available resources and which are eligible for the new one.