Ab­sorp­tion of EU sub­si­dies ex­ceeds tar­get set for 2013

Re­main­ing 5.8 bln eu­ros cer­tain to be uti­lized by the end of 2015

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY EV­GE­NIA TZORTZI

While pre­sent­ing the course of the 2013 sub­si­dies pro­gram yes­ter­day, De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Costis Hatzi­dakis stressed that not a sin­gle euro in Euro­pean Union sub­si­dies paid through the Na­tional Strate­gic Ref­er­ence Frame­work would go to waste. Greece achieved an ab­sorp­tion rate of 74 per­cent last year, with spend­ing in­creased by 47 per­cent com­pared to 2012.

Ac­cord­ing to the ac­count pre­sented by Hatzi­dakis, the gov­ern­ment uti­lized 5 bil­lion eu­ros of sub­si­dies in 2013, which al­lows for some op­ti­mism that the re­main­ing 5.8 bil­lion will be fully ab­sorbed by the pro­gram’s end-2015 dead­line.

Greece man­aged to cover the tar­get set for last year by 118 per­cent, as the to­tal EU funds ab­sorbed in 2013 amounted to 4.6 bil­lion eu­ros, com­pared with a tar­get for 3.89 bil­lion set out in the coun­try’s bailout agree­ment. When the na­tional con­tri­bu­tion is added, the sum ex­ceeds 5 bil­lion eu­ros, the min­is­ter ex­plained.

Al­though the rate is im­proved thanks to the slash­ing of the pro­gram by 2.1 bil­lion eu­ros (from 24.3 bil­lion to 22.2 bil­lion eu­ros) due to the re­duc­tion of the na­tional con­tri­bu­tion, ex­ceed­ing the tar­get set for 2013 in ab­so­lute fig­ures shows that “we have now shaken off the ab­sorp­tion wor­ries,” ac­cord­ing to Hatzi­dakis. “In the two years left for the ab­sorp­tion of the 5.8 bil­lion eu­ros, we will only have to chan­nel an amount that is just over the funds we man­aged to ab­sorb within just one year, in 2013.”

The ab­sorp­tion of the sub­si­dies was fa­cil­i­tated by the sim­pli­fi­ca­tion of project im­ple­men­ta­tion pro­ce­dures with 32 spe­cific con­tracts, the elim­i­na­tion of projects that would not go ahead, the sys­tem­atic mon­i­tor­ing of projects and their im­ple­men­ta­tion, and the re­vi­sion of projects where nec­es­sary. Hatzi­dakis also made spe­cial ref­er­ence to the Pub­lic In­vest­ments Pro­gram that was 100 per­cent im­ple­mented in 2013, chan­nel­ing 6.6 bil­lion eu­ros into the mar­ket.

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