The government will seek to focus the utilization of the 32 billion euros of European Commission grants and loans on “a few emblematic actions,” say sources of the new setup that this week’s cabinet meeting decided will run the project of absorbing Greece’s share from the Next Generation EU fund.
The same sources said a good example of the strategy is the existing energy subsidies program Exoikonomisi Kat’ Oikon (Saving at Home), which is about to be expanded so as to perform energy upgrades on all of the country’s buildings, where possible. Therefore the program is expected to potentially expand to hotels, industrial structures and properties housing state agencies.
This means that a large chunk of the EU resources could be immediately channeled into the market, serving one of the key objectives of the European Commission’s fund – i.e. that of the “green development.” “This is a good Keynesian measure,” said the sources.
The Saving at Home program is already expanding to new actions beyond replacing doors and windows, and will be renamed “Saving for Smart Homes,” as it will also cover technological upgrades. The new program, budgeted at €850 million, will kick off this fall. Notably, all expenditure made since February 2020 is eligible for funding by the Next Generation EU project.
The government is clearly eager to act rapidly so as not to risk missing out on any precious economic resources. It is against this backdrop that the new committee for acceleration and implementation will take action, while operating under the supervision of Deputy Minister for Fiscal Policy Thodoros Skylakakis.
The five-member steering committee is targeting the submission of proposals by August 24. The proposals will be filtered and put up for consultation by end-September in order for the National Recovery Plan – as Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has named it – to be ready for submission to the European Commission on October 15.