FinMin Staikouras outlines Greece’s plans for EU recovery funding at Ecofin meeting

Greek Finance Minister Christos Staikouras presented the basic reforms and investments of the National Plan for Revival and Resilience at the Ecofin meeting on Tuesday.

The plan will use the EU Recovery funds of 32 billion euros allocated to Greece and emphasizes green and digital transitions with the leveraging of private sector funding.

Staikouras outlined Greece’s basic reforms as follows:
1. Incentives for energy-efficiency investments (homes, businesses, and the public sector)
2. Power connections of the Greek islands and investments on energy storage
3. National plan for reforestation and investments in biodiversity
4. 5G infrastructure, fiber optics infrastructure in buildings, digital linking of Greek islands
5. Digital transformation of the public sector (e.g. health, education, justice), including infrastructure and services of central cloud computing, digital interoperability within the general government, and comprehensive management of transactions with the general government
6. Full digitization of tax services, new ‘smart’ ways of fighting tax evasion (e.g. through AI, online monitoring of transactions), introduction of register and POS machines with the tax service, electronic receipts for the entire private sector
7. Reforms to simplify business operations and support of investments
8. Strong incentives for private investiments (e.g. green or digital transformation of SMEs, ‘smart’ industrial investments, extroversion, innovation/R&D)
9. Private-public partnerships in new, large-scale infrastructure projects (e.g. irrigation, upgrade of train network)
10. Investments in culture, tourism and agrofood as incentives for development
11. Reforms in labor legislation (esp. modernization and simplification), reforms of active and passive work policies, large-scale investments in career and skill training, with an emphasis on digital skills
12. Investments in social integration of vulnerable groups, ennabling access to the labor market for people with disabilities, assistance in creating childcare units in private businesses, similar investments in the education system, and
13. Reforms in the primary health care system, upgrading of hospitals

Staikouras also outlined the selection criteria for loans to the private sector, which will place the emphasis on green and digital investments, and outlined the criteria for disbursement of these loans, including market needs and the percentages of involvement of the state, banks and investors.