The European Commission on Thursday endorsed Greece’s recovery and resilience plan, totaling 30.5 billion euros ($36.5bn) as the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen visits Athens.
“This is an important step towards the disbursement of 17.8 billion euros in grants and 12.7 billion euros in loans under the 2021-2026 Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF),” the Commission said, adding that this financing will support the implementation of the critical investment and reform measures outlined in the Greek recovery and resilience plan and help Greece emerge stronger from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Von der Leyen and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis chose the historic setting of the Ancient Agora to hail the endorsement of the recovery plan.
The European Commission President said she is “delighted to give the EU Commission’s green light to Greece’s €30.5 billion recovery plan. The plan is ambitious and will help build a better future for the Greek people. It can reshape Greece for decades ahead. We need to make the best out of it, for the next generations.”
Delighted to give the @EU_Commission’s green light to Greece’s €30.5 billion recovery plan.
The plan is ambitious and will help build a better future for the Greek people.
It can reshape 🇬🇷 for decades ahead. We need to make the best out of it, for the next generations.
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) June 17, 2021
“The plan was designed in Greece and will spear growth that will be led by the Greek people and it will be owned by the Greek people and will deeply transform the Greek economy. It will make Greece emerge stronger and more resilient and better prepared for the future,” Von der Leyen added.
PM Mitsotakis said that the endorsement of the recovery plan is a “historic moment for Europe and Greece.”
“We welcome the President of the European Commission at a historic moment for Europe and Greece. It is, I believe, the last act of the pandemic and the first of a new era.”
According to Mitsotakis, the Greek plan “met with flattering comments in Brussels”. He said most of the resources would go to the green and digital economy.
He added that the Greece 2.0 project will soon be presented in detail in every region of the country, while he particularly focused on “full digitization of public services and companies, the modernization of our hospitals, the cultivation of skills, and major infrastructure projects.”
The European Council will now have four weeks, as a rule, to approve the Commission’s proposal.
The approval of the plan by the Council will allow the disbursement of 4 billion euros in pre-financing to Greece. This amount represents 13 percent of the total amount that will be allocated to Greece.
The Commission evaluated Greece’s plan on the basis of criteria such as whether the investments and reforms defined in the Greek plan support the green and digital transition, and whether growth dynamics, job creation and economic and social resilience are strengthened.
Greece’s National Recovery and Sustainability Plan
According to the government, the primary goal of the Greek Recovery Plan is to fill the large gap in investment, national product and employment — an endemic gap in the performance of the Greek economy over the last decade — which has worsened due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this context, the National Recovery and Sustainability Plan aims to mobilize significant forces from the private sector, boosting private investment and using Public-Private Partnerships and Energy Service Companies to make significant public investment efforts.
Using these funds and utilizing the loans of the Recovery Fund to promote private investment, “Greece 2.0” seeks to mobilize total investment resources of 57 billion euros.
The Greek Recovery Plan consists of four pillars: Green, Digital, Social, and Economic and Institutional reform.