NEWS

Unfinished projects take toll on funding program

Unfinished projects worth some 6 billion euros from Greece’s previous National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) will need to be included in the next period of the European Union-backed program, Kathimerini understands.

For the completion of the projects, which are mainly of an environmental and infrastructural nature, funds will have to be drawn from the new NSRF, which runs until the end of 2020. This would eat into about one-third of the funds made available for Greece, estimated at 20.5 billion euros.

Financing these incomplete projects is expected to use up all of the funds that have been earmarked in the new period for sustainable development and infrastructure works, some 4.3 billion euros.

The new NSRF officially runs from 2014 to 2020. Greece, which has regularly failed to make full use of the EU-funded program, is still carrying out projects included in the previous NSRF, which officially ended in 2013. The country can continue to draw funds until the end of the current year but the coming months will be crucial as Greek Economy Ministry officials will have to decide which of the ongoing projects will be transitioned into the new NSRF and which will be scrapped. The latter include projects that do not fit the profile of the new NSRF, which puts less emphasis on large-scale infrastructure works and more on innovation and entrepreneurship.

NSRF General Secretary Alexis Charitsis is expected to visit Brussels in the coming days for talks with European officials regarding technical details and the fate of several projects.