Forty major projects, with a total budget of six billion euros, are the first to join a new investment implementation program Greece has agreed upon with the European Commission in order to strengthen the absorption of EU funds and support the economy.
Development and Investment Minister Adonis Georgiadis said yesterday that the projects will be presented in detail by each ministry. Georgiadis reiterated what was outlined in the European Commission's sixth post-memorandum monitoring report on Greece, regarding the creation of a mechanism to help projects mature, under the supervision of the Prime Minister's Office.
The aim is to "monitor the maturation of studies and the implementation of projects and faster absorption of all financial resources needed", the minister said.
At noon on Wednesday, when the sixth post-memorandum monitoring report was made public, it was announced that the government was pushing ahead with this separate mechanism for preparing and monitoring projects to address long-standing delays in many investment tenders.
Due to delays, Greece is in danger of losing money from the existing NSRF, as well as returning hundreds of millions of euros to the European Union because many projects have not been completed on time, especially in the railway sector.
Regarding the railway projects, the report states that Greece's NSRF commitments to date are less than 200 million euros despite the country 1.2 to 1.4 billion euros of commitments having been planned. Many projects are already being transferred to the next NSRF, while the completion date of some others is unknown, with the leading example being the railway network connection with the port of Patras. Extensive delays are also recorded in the tender for the new line 4 of the Athens metro, which has been planned from the beginning of the previous decade but will eventually be financed by the next NSRF (for the period 2021 - 2027).
The Project Preparation Facility will have a coordinating role in the preparation of feasibility studies, cost /benefit analyzes, preliminary studies, and the final technical study, as well as in matters of expropriation and the supervision of projects during implementation.
According to the report, the first officials to work on this maturity mechanism will be selected in October 2020 with the aim of it being fully operational by March 2021 with the cooperation of international funding organizations such as the European Investment Bank.