Athens, Sep 27 (IANS) Greece will receive financial support totaling some 55 billion euros ($58 billion) from the European Union (EU) over the next four to six years, the country's Deputy Minister of National Economy and Finance Nikos Papathanasis said.Government officials have emphasised the vital role of European funds, constituting over 80 per cent of Greece's public investments, in driving the country's economic recovery and growth prospects, reports Xinhua news agency.
Reviewing the effect of EU funding on the Greek economy in recent years, Papathanasis told reporters that "the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) program for 2014-2020 held a critical role in the growth of Greek economy".
"During the period 2019-2023 we tripled the absorption rates of funds compared to the previous four years. In 2019, the absorption rate was 24.5 percent and today we have reached 88 per cent (and by year-end will be 100 per cent).
"We are ranking third among EU member states regarding absorption rates of EU funds," he added.
The absorption rate signifies the percentage of the total amount allocated or committed in the EU budget to a specific member state that has been disbursed or absorbed by that member state for various projects, programs or initiatives.
Regarding the NSRF 2021-2027 program with over 26 billion euros to be allocated to Greece, the Minister said that his country is leading across the EU in absorption rates for this program.
European funding from NSRF programs, the Recovery and Resilience Fund (RRF) and other sources, is fundamental to materialise necessary reforms, invest in infrastructure, support businesses and households and address new challenges, according to ministry officials.
In the wake of recent destructive forest fires and floods during the summer and autumn, which initial estimates suggest have cost Greece over 2 billion euros, RRF-funded projects worth at least 686 million euros will be implemented in the coming weeks and months to reconstruct bridges, restore the railway network and roads, Papathanasis said.
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