Gov’t ad­mits pos­si­ble EU sub­sidy loss

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - EVGENIA TZORTZI

The Econ­omy Min­istry is now ad­mit­ting it is pos­si­ble that some of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion sub­si­dies for the 2007-13 fund­ing pe­riod, which has been ex­tended un­til De­cem­ber 2015, may be lost, de­spite the “la­bo­ri­ous ef­fort of the last few months to re­store nor­mal­ity in the pay­ment flow for the sub­sidy pro­gram’s projects,” and it is ask­ing for another ex­ten­sion.

The min­istry con­cedes the coun­try could miss out on some of the sub­si­dies in spite of the re­cent de­ci­sions by the Com­mis­sion to in­crease its con­tri­bu­tion rate to 100 per­cent and re­turn to Athens the na­tional share of 5 per­cent that is usu­ally with­held un­til the com­ple­tion of the pro­grams, sched­uled for March 2017.

In the­ory, Greece could ben­e­fit from those two de­ci­sions to the tune of an es­ti­mated 1 bil­lion eu­ros for the cur­rent pro­gram, but the min­istry ad­mits that “this may not prove enough to avoid the loss of re­sources, so the Greek gov­ern­ment will con­tinue to re­quest an ex­ten­sion to the pay­ment of Euro­pean sub­si­dies for the 2007-13 pro­gram.”

Greece is not alone in ask­ing for an ex­ten­sion, as Italy and six other mem­ber-states have also done so.

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