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Greece Ready to Receive First Payment from NextGenerationEU, Says Commission

Photo source: European Commission

Photo source: European Commission

The European Commission on Monday endorsed a positive preliminary assessment of Greece’s payment request for 3.6 billion euros, under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), the key instrument at the heart of NextGenerationEU.

“Today, we have reached a new milestone in the implementation of NextGenerationEU in Greece. In our view, Greece is ready to receive its first payment from NextGenerationEU,” Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.

Once member states also give their green light, the Commission will disburse 3.6 billion euros to Greece, of which 1.7 billion euros in grants and nearly 1.9 billion euros in loans.

“The country has made good progress in the implementation of its recovery plan, through reforms in electric mobility, labour market regulation, and the implementation of the Loan facility framework. We will continue supporting Greece in its ambitious recovery path,” Von der Leyen said.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

It is reminded that on 29 December 2021, Greece submitted to the Commission a payment request based on the achievement of the 15 milestones selected in the Council Implementing Decision for the first instalment. They cover reforms and investments in the areas of energy efficiency, electric mobility, waste management, labour market, taxation, business environment, healthcare, public transport, as well as Greece’s audit and control system for the implementation of the RRF.

According to the Commission, the milestones fulfilled demonstrate significant progress made in the implementation of Greece’s recovery and resilience plan, and of its broad reform agenda. They include important measures such as:

– the establishment of the framework for the Loan Facility and the launch of the on-lending via commercial banks and international financial institutions, which is expected to channel substantial liquidity to private investments over the next five years;
– the launch of major investments, such as a new round of the energy-efficiency enhancing renovations of residential buildings;
– the entry into force of a new labour law and the reform of OAED, Greece’s public employment services, which should boost job creation;
– the entry into force of a new legal framework for organisation of the electric vehicles market; and
– the entry into force of a new waste management law.

“Greece has made a good start to implementing its ambitious recovery and resilience plan, successfully completing the fifteen milestones linked to its first payment request,” Paolo Gentiloni, Commissioner for Economy, said.

Photo source: European Commission

Photo source: European Commission

The Greek recovery and resilience plan includes a wide range of investments and reform measures in four thematic components (green transition; digital transformation, employment, skills and social cohesion; private investment and transformation of the economy).

The overall plan is worth 30.50 billion euros. Among the first countries to request its financing package and to submit its national plan dubbed “Greece 2.0”, Greece is set to receive a total of 17.77 billion euros in grants and 12.73 billion euros in loans, 13 percent of which (3.96 billion euros) was disbursed to Greece in pre-financing on 9 August 2021.

“Once the relevant procedures are finalised we will be able to move ahead with the payment of 3.6 billion euros, helping to keep Greece’s strong economic recovery on track,” Gentiloni said.

The disbursement to Greece will take place following the approvals of the Economic and Financial Committee (EFC) and of a comitology committee.

Payments under the RRF are performance-based and contingent on Member States implementing the investments and reforms outlined in their respective recovery and resilience plans.

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