NEWS

Greece 3rd in net EU revenues

Greece enjoyed the third-highest net gains from the European Union budget among the 15 member states in 2003, according to figures released in Brussels yesterday. The total sum in EU funding that Greece received last year reached 4.85 billion euros, 6.21 percent of Brussels’s budget. With the national contributions subtracted, the final figure stands at 3.36 billion euros, which corresponds to 2.22 percent of GDP, compared to 2.39 percent in 2002. In terms of revenues as a percentage of GDP, Greece ranked second behind Portugal (2.66 percent). Only Spain, Portugal, Greece and Ireland – in order of revenues – were net beneficiaries, while at the other end of the spectrum Germany was the top net contributor in absolute terms (7.65 billion euros), and the Netherlands had the highest contribution as a percentage of GDP (0.43 percent). Most of Greece’s EU revenues went to farmers (2.76 billion) and 1.9 billion was in the form of structural subsidies. Cotton farmers topped the list of beneficiaries at 656 million, followed by olive oil producers (534 million) and cereal growers (503 million).