Deputy Economy Minister Alexis Charitsis on Thursday said he was confident that Greece will soon have activated half of the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) 2014-2020, corresponding to nine billion euros in Community funds. Speaking at the Thessaloniki Summit 2016 that started on Thursday, he said the government was ready to exploit the positive momentum generated in the Greek economy through the NSRF.
“Absorption of the NSRF 2007-2013 kept the Greek economy going in 2015, with five billion euros disbursed in the fourth quarter after the programmes had been cleaned up and we had negotiate a change in NSRF rules with the European Commission,” he said. The result was that Greece had the highest absorption of community funds in the EU.
The government’s goal was to also activate other sources of funding, in addition to NSRF funds, which were
“significant but finite” and could not cover the financing gap, he said. Charitsis explained that the government was planning five new financing instruments, of which three will be introduced before the end of 2016, including
the new ‘Fund of Funds’.
Greece had made a start in using funds available under the Juncker Plan, with agreements for 645 million that will be leveraged up to 1.4 billion euros of private funds in the real economy, Charitsis noted, while a further 1.4 billion euros borrowed from the European Investment Bank (EIB) will be combined with NSRF funds to finance major infrastructure projects, such as a new metro line, a underwater energy cable to Crete and extension of the gas network to new areas.
The minister also announced action to encourage the creation of well paid and secure jobs that would encourage highly-skilled employees to come back to Greece, stopping the so-called “brain drain”.