Greece expects by the end of the month to have access to approximately 4 billion euros in support from the European Union’s Recovery Fund, said Finance Minister Christos Staikouras this week.
Staikouras was in Brussels on Tuesday participating in a meeting of EU finance ministers who approved the recovery plans of 12 member states including the “Greece 2.0” plan, paving the way for the release of the first tranche of funding to go toward addressing the impact of Covid-19.
The finance minister said it was a “very important day for Greece and Europe… Greece 2.0 is a coherent and realistic plan that will lead to strong and sustainable economic growth, creating new jobs and stimulating social cohesion”.
For this year, Greece is set to receive approximately 7.5 billion euros – a 4-billion-euro advance and a first tranche of about 3.5 billion euros provided that milestones are met – through the EU’s recovery tool.
Under the EU recovery instrument, Greece is entitled to a total of 30.5 billion euros – 17.8 billion euros in grants and 12.7 euros in loans.
Through the submitted plan dubbed ‘Greece 2.0’ the government has outlined the terms and conditions of 331 targets and projects which will pave the way for the disbursement of 30.5 billion euros in EU support through to 2026.
Greece 2.0, which includes 106 investments and 68 reforms, is aiming to utilize 60 billion euros of total investment over the next five years, permanently increase GDP by 7 points and create 180-200 thousand new jobs, said Alternate Finance Minister Theodore Skylakakis also participating in the ECOFIN meeting.
EU Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said the approval of the 12 plans was a “real start” that will “boost confidence in the markets, in countries and allow investments and reforms to start.”
On her part, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen spread the news with a post in Greek on twitter:
Καλά νέα για την Ελλάδα! Το Συμβούλιο ενέκρινε το ελληνικό σχέδιο ανάκαμψης, που σημαίνει ότι η χρηματοδότηση μπορεί να ξεκινήσει.
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) July 13, 2021
Her twitter post reads: “Good news for Greece! The Council approved the Greek recovery plan, which means that funding can begin. With 30.5 billion euros, the #NextGenerationEU will help Greece become greener, more digital and better prepared for the future.”