ECONOMY

CSF III program enters final stage

The absorption of funds from the European Union’s Third Community Support Framework (CSF III) is proceeding as the deadline for 10 different programs expires in six months, government sources said yesterday. The programs include funds that are earmarked for spending in different parts of Greece, including Macedonia, the Ionian islands, northern and southern parts of the Aegean and Crete. According to figures presented at a joint ministerial meeting held on the issue yesterday, about 85 percent of funds from CSF III will have been absorbed by September, sources added. The Greek government’s participation in the Third Community Support Framework – which totaled 32.4 billion euros – amounts to an estimated 10 billion euros. The European Union has given Greece a one-year extension for some programs being implemented in areas hit by last summer’s devastating forest fires. This will allow for projects costing 2 billion euros in national and EU funds to be implemented up to the end of 2009. Greece’s economy has been one of the strongest performers in the European Union in recent years, partly due to the large amount of EU funds entering the country, aimed at boosting the country’s infrastructure.