Greece submits $ 36 billion national stimulus package to EU
Greece officially presented to the European Union on Tuesday its national recovery plan, aimed at helping repair the economic and social damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, acknowledged receipt and said: “It is good to see that he is focusing on strategic areas for the future of the country: green and digital, jobs, skills, private investment and reform. ”
We have received the recovery and resilience plan from Greece.
It’s good to see that it is focusing on areas that are strategic for the country’s future: green and digital, jobs, skills, private investment and reform.
After evaluation 🇬🇷 could receive up to 30.5 billion euros in respect of #NextGenerationEU
– Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) April 28, 2021
Under the multibillion-euro coronavirus stimulus package agreed by European Union leaders last year, Greece is set to secure € 18.2 billion ($ 21.96 billion) in grants and 13 billion euros in cheap loans over the next few years, or about 16% of its gross amount. domestic product.
It is expected to obtain additional leverage from the private sector through equity and loans, which means that the total funds for investments will be raised to almost € 60 billion.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said last month that the country’s four-pillar program, dubbed “Greece 2.0”, would help revive and transform an economy that is still emerging from the shadow of a decade of severe financial crisis.
Deputy Finance Minister Theodoros Skylakakis, in charge of the Stimulus Fund, said the plan includes 106 investment programs and 67 reforms which are precisely described and costed in 4,104 pages.
Handing the document to EU representatives in Athens, the Greek minister added: “The first step has been taken. Now the even more difficult task of absorbing the enormous resources of the Fund follows, which will allow the country to achieve not only a dynamic recovery, but to enter a permanent long-term path of development and change of its productive model. , for the benefit of all Greek society.
Greece’s National Recovery and Sustainability Plan
According to the government, the main objective of the Greek stimulus package is to close the large deficit of investment, national product and employment – an endemic gap in the performance of the Greek economy over the last decade – which has worsened due to COVID. 19 pandemic.
In this context, the National Recovery and Sustainability Plan aims to mobilize significant strengths of the private sector, by stimulating private investment and by using public-private partnerships and energy service companies to carry out public investment efforts. important.
The Greek recovery plan is made up of four pillars: green, digital, social, economic and institutional reform.
1. Green transition. The investments of the Greek stimulus plan include, among others:
– A vast “savings” program for households, businesses, public buildings and infrastructures.
– The interconnection of the Greek islands, which will considerably reduce the energy costs of households and businesses and energy storage investments which will allow the best use of the country’s potential in renewable energy sources.
– Promotion of strategic urban actions for the development of their environmental value.
– Significant investments in flood control projects, accompanied by changes in the use of irrigation networks and the installation of telemeters for leak detection and smart water management.
– A new national reforestation plan.
– Initiatives to protect biodiversity.
– Significant investments in civil protection infrastructure and equipment.
– Investments for the development of urban plans which will provide valid and immediate information on land use for 4/5 of the country.
2. Digital transition. The plan’s investments include, among others:
– Pre-installation of fiber optic infrastructure in buildings to facilitate the transition to the use of fiber optic networks by businesses and households.
– Development of 5G network corridors on Greek highways.
– Connection of the mainland with modern submarine fiber optic cables with the Greek Islands.
– Digitization of key files in different sectors (health, justice, town planning, cadastre, immigration, etc.) and their integration into the respective information systems.
– Ensure the interconnection and interoperability of systems and individual registers and individual applications between public bodies.
– Information system for the management of public administration transactions with citizens and businesses.
– Investments to fight tax fraud, which include the further digitization of tax services, the codification and modernization of tax legislation, actions against smuggling and the use of artificial intelligence to facilitate tax audits , improve electronic transactions, etc.
– Digital transformation of companies, with the acquisition of equipment, cloud services and internet services, such as new electronic payment technologies, electronic invoicing, remote work, digital office, etc.
3. Private investment and economic reform. The plan includes, among others:
– Strong incentives for private investment (green, digital transformation, innovation, extraversion).
– Important infrastructure projects such as the northern part of the E65, the northern road axis of Crete, a large road safety project, large PPP irrigation projects, the modernization also by PPP of the rail network, a new suburban railway in western Attica, tolls, “smart” infrastructure, etc .;
– Investments for the strengthening of culture, such as the creation of the Museum of Underwater Antiquities of Piraeus, the development of cultural and natural routes and a program to protect emblematic monuments against climate change, etc.
– Investment in tourism with interventions for mountain tourism, health tourism and the use of thermal springs, gastronomy, modernization of tourist ports, diving tourism, access to beaches and training programs specials to improve the human resource skills of tourism enterprises.
4. Social cohesion and employment. The plan includes, among others:
– Employment programs aimed at increasing employment, with particular emphasis on the development of digital skills and the digital transformation of education.
– Development of digital infrastructure in the classroom and interactive learning.
– Upgrading of laboratory and research center equipment.
– Vouchers for computers and tablets to vulnerable households so that children can familiarize themselves with digital tools.