Von der Leyen: Greek recovery plan to ‘transform economy’

Von der Leyen: Greek recovery plan to ‘transform economy’

Greece’s national recovery plan will “transform the economy” and “prepare the country for the future,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in Athens on Thursday, her next stop in her tour of EU member-states to present the approved national action plans for economic recovery after the pandemic.

“Today, I am honored to announce that the Commission has given the green light for Greece’s National Recovery Plan, a plan which belongs to the Greek people and will transform the Greek economy,” von der Leyen said in her speech at the Ancient Agora, standing next to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, presenting the country’s Recovery and Resilience Plan, dubbed “Greece 2.0.”

With its implementation, Greece will carry out structural reforms and will “come out stronger than ever” and “more prepared for the future,” she continued, describing the plan as “ambitious and longterm.”

Von der Leyen said the NextGenerationEU is “the largest since the Marshall Plan,” adding that the EU and member-states have a lot of “hard work” ahead of them to implement their national plans.

At the same event, Mitsotakis hailed the EU-supported plan will be “the last act of the turmoil caused by the pandemic and the first of a new era.”

“This program extends to the last corner of our country, touching all Greeks. It creates a complete plan. It also corresponds to the symbolism of ‘Greece 2.0’ — it is the next version of the country. It is the image of the new Greece,” he said at the presentation.

Mitsotakis said Greece is considered one of the countries benefiting greatly from the Recovery Fund as it is entitled to funds amounting to 31 billion euros, and was one of the first to submit a national plan that includes 175 investments, projects and reforms.

Funds from NextGenerationEU will be channelled into the green and digital transition, employment, developing skills and social cohesion, and finally private investment and institutional transformation, he said.

After the Commission’s positive recommendation for the Greek plan, the EU Council will have four weeks to adopt its positive assessment. Its approval would allow for the disbursement of 4 billion euros to Greece in pre-financing, which represents 13% of the total allocated amount for Greece.

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