Government’s successes in absorbing EU funds ‘indisputable’, economy ministry says

The government’s successes in the absorption of European funds are “indisputable” and have been praised by all European institutions and officials, the Greek economy and development ministry noted in an announcement on Sunday, issued in response to coverage by a private television channel.

“We welcome the interest of the well-known private television station in the [EU funding programmes], though it comes a little late with a delay of three years. Nothing much of note happened in that time except that Greece for the first time reached the top of the European rankings for the absorption of [EU programme funds] (1) for three consecutive years, came first among European states for use of the Juncker Plan (2) while the economy ministry signed record agreements with the European Investment Bank (EIB) (3) that resulted in 2.0 billion euros in real disbursements towards businesses in 2017 alone, with the lion’s share going to small and medium-sized enterprises,” the announcement said.

It contrasted the above performance with that achieved by previous New Democracy and PASOK governments, when Greece had trailed in the absorption of European funding and was being investigated for scandals and mismanagement.

The announcement criticised the station’s coverage of the story as well as its timing, noting that it had brought in an ND official posing as a “neutral technocrat” to comment while failing to ask the economy ministry for its side of things.

“However much they doom-monger and distort reality, the successes of our government in managing European funding are indisputable and have been hailed by all the competent European institutions and officials. Thanks to this work, the economy was kept upright during the crisis and precious liquidity was supplied to businesses, restoring the country’s prestige worldwide. A prestige that had been brought to its knees, along with the economy, by the political forces that the specific station is striving to dress up,” the announcement added.

Their efforts were for naught, the ministry concluded, since the Greek economy was steadily heading toward growth and the post-memorandum era. It ended the announcement with a series of links showing to European Union and EIB web pages confirming its claims (EU cohesion data, Juncker Plan results, EIB projects in Greece)as well as that of ND official Ypsilantis Tzouros, who was brought in as a commentator on the specific programme.