Greece’s five-member Executive Committee of the Recovery Fund is assessing the most mature and necessary projects from the long lists submitted by ministries and other bodies, while the Finance Ministry is setting up a mechanism to monitor the projects or initiatives that will be finally included. The total benefit for the country from the Recovery Fund can reach 32 billion euros, but the selection of projects must be done extremely carefully.
In contrast to the NSRF, where projects can be transferred to the next programming period if there are no contracts, Recovery Fund rules stipulate that 70 percent of resources must be committed, by contract, by the end of 2022.
Consequently, the Executive Committee must select the most mature projects, those that can start the tender procedure immediately, but also be completed within the next two years. In addition, it will try to explain to ministers and other officials that projects that can be completed with private funding or at least with increased participation of the private sector will not be included. For this reason, recent announcements from Ministry of Infrastructure, saying that the extensions of Attiki Odos will be completed as a public project raise questions!
Members of the Executive Committee, which is called to complete the assessment of the projects and other actions within the first half of October, are the Deputy Minister of Finance, Theodoros Skylakakis, the Deputy Minister of Coordination of Government Affairs, Akis Skertsos, the Secretary General of Public Works, Dimitris Skalkos, the Prime Minister’s chief economic advisor, Alexis Patelis, and the chairman of the Council of Economic Experts, Michalis Argyrou. In coming weeks, the organizational structure will be announced that will monitor projects included in the Recovery Fund with the participation of the former Secretary General for Private Investments and PPPs, Nikos Mantzoufas.
As announced by the Prime Minister’s office, the fund has five cycles, namely Employment and Social Cohesion, Digital Governance, Infrastructure and Transport, Productive Transformation and Private Investments. In each "cycle", projects or other actions can be included up to a specific budget, without meaning that in the end there will be no changes depending on the proposals submitted by the ministries.
For example, while welcoming the projects proposed by the Ministry of Digital Government, the same is not being said about proposals from the Ministry of Infrastructure, mainly because the latter does not have mature projects or tenders, especially on the railway sector, where the government and the EU. want to give a higher priority.
The final plan must be submitted by April, but a battle is being fought in order to form an initial list of initiatives so that Greece can get the 10 percent advance payment from the Recovery Fund paid faster.