One of the often overlooked aspects of the July 12 Euro Summit was the benefits offered to Greece from the European Union to support country’s steps to sustainability.
A 12-page communique was issued by the European Commission, highlighting available funds— upwards of €35 billion, to fund investment and economic activity, including support for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), in Greece.
EU funding has been the primary source of public investment in Greece during the crisis. For example the Athens metro, the General Hospital in Katerini, the Acropolis museum and the district heating system of Kozani were all financed largely from the EU budget.
With the support of the Commission, Greece is expected to be able to receive more than €35 billion from the EU budget during the 2014-2020 financing period.
€20 billion from the European Structural and Investment Funds could be mobilized, according to the report, to create jobs and sustainable growth, and Greek farmers should continue to benefit from direct payments of over €15 billion.
Some first payments to Greece from these EU funds in 2014 and 2015 already amount to almost €4.5 billion.
According to the report, “If used to its full potential, wisely targeted and well spent, this funding will help the recovery and strengthen the foundations for sustainable jobs, growth and social cohesion. These funds can provide a powerful basis for the economic turnaround. They will pump investment directly into the real economy, creating jobs and supporting the necessary reforms to help transform the economy and raise living standards of citizens. Moreover, the Commission’s Investment Plan for Europe, including the entry into force of the European Fund for Strategic Investments, will play an important role in helping to mobilise private investments through the use of public money.”