The National Plan for Recovery and Sustainability (“Greece 2.0”) aspires to lead our country to a new era and has as its primary goal to fill the large gap in investment and employment that characterized the Greek economy and worsened with the pandemic, said the deputy. Minister of Finance Theodoros Skylakakis presenting the main axes of the Plan.
As he said, his main goal is to mobilize forces mainly from the private sector and for this purpose Greece will request all the funds allocated to it from the European Recovery Fund, ie 17.8 billion euros in subsidies and 12.7 billion. euro loans. With these financings, as Mr. Skylakakis explained, the government seeks to mobilize a total investment of 57 billion euros.
The Deputy Minister of Finance presented the four main axes of “Greece 2.0” as well as the key projects and reforms that will be included in each of these areas. These are the following:
1. Green transition. It includes programs such as an extensive “Save” for households and businesses and the State, the electricity interconnection of the Greek islands, energy storage projects, large investments in flood defenses, the national reforestation plan, equipment to strengthen civil protection, modernization plans etc.
2. Digital Transition: Includes projects such as the pre-installation of fiber optic sockets in buildings, the development of the 5G network and electronics, the digitization of files in areas such as Justice, the Land Registry, immigration, EFKA and the interconnection and interoperability of the State. Also included are programs related to the information system for the management of public and citizen transactions, digitization to combat tax evasion and smuggling, the strengthening of electronic transactions, the digital transformation of companies, etc.
3. Institutional Transformation and investments: These are, among other things, strong incentives for the transformation of the economy, but also for the financing of the Northern Road Axis of Crete (BOAK) of E65, for the modernization of the railway network, the tolls and other smart infrastructures. . Investments are also foreseen in culture (Museum of Underwater Antiquities of Piraeus), in tourism, for the upgrade of tourist services, accessibility to the beaches and special training programs, strengthening of the agri-food sector, etc.
4. Social pillar: Concerns large-scale programs to increase employment, upgrade laboratory equipment in education, invest heavily in the health system to modernize and renovate hospital equipment, national exercise and nutrition programs, as well as investments that strengthen social justice, child protection, etc.
Undersecretary to the Prime Minister Akis Skertsos, stated that “Greece 2.0” is a complete business plan for the development of investments in our country. As he said, the Plan gives an answer to the problems of the Greek economy with the 58 reforms that it includes. It focuses on young people, women, small and medium-sized enterprises, farmers, people of culture. The big challenge is not the absorption of resources which will offer temporary development, but also the channeling of funds with the greatest efficiency in our country. It is a huge opportunity to cover the lost ground of decades, said Mr. Skertsos.
The head of the Finance Office of the Prime Minister Alexis Patelis pointed out that the financing of the National Plan concerns loans for investments in green and digital actions, extroversion actions, research and innovation as well as for mergers, acquisitions and business collaborations. As he explained, the state will give co-financing and not guarantees. The state will put up to 50% of the investment and the rest to banks and companies. As he stated, the National Recovery Plan will lead to an increase of investments by 1/5 in the Greek economy by 2026.
The Secretary General of Public Investments and NSRF Dimitris Skalkos noted that this is a coherent package of projects and reforms to fill the large investment gap in the country. The main goals are to increase employment and productivity based on the directions of the Pissaridis report. The new NSRF will also have a big contribution to the financing, which, as he said, will be submitted to the European Commission for approval in the coming months.
The President of the Council of Economic Experts (SOE) Michalis Argyrou stressed that this is a fundamental change in the economic model through significant GDP growth, which will lead to the emergence of exports as a driving force of the economy. The gains in GDP and employment will be permanent and will come mainly from the increase of private investments, said Michalis Argyrou, who confirmed a SOE study on the great development benefits that the Plan will bring to the Greek economy.