ATHENS — Greece has received a 3.6 billion euro ($3.9 billion) payment out of its allotted 30.5 billion from the European Union’s pandemic recovery fund.
The announcement was made Friday by Valdis Dombrovskis, the European Commission’s executive vice president, via video link with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. Dombrovskis had been scheduled to visit Athens, but his trip was canceled after he tested positive for COVID-19.
The European recovery and resilience fund provides vital relief for Greece, which had barely emerged from a deep, decadelong financial crisis when the coronavirus pandemic hit. It provides 12.7 billion euros in loans and 17.8 billion euros in grants through 2026.
“The ongoing war in Ukraine has shown how quickly events can turn and that we are now finding ourselves in a different geopolitical reality,” Dombrovskis told Mitsotakis in the livestreamed video call. “It not only illustrates the need of remaining united in the face of Russian brutality but also of sticking to our policies to build up economic and social resilience.”
The fund “will help Europe to stay strong in bad times as well as in good times and to build for a future together,” he said.
The plan Greece put forward to qualify for the funds centers on environmental and digital reform, employment and private investment.
“We will make good use of these funds, and we will stay on track,” Mitsotakis said, adding that “this government is committed to reforms.”
On his part, Dombrovskis congratulated Greece and the team that prepared its plan.
“Greece is ready to create a strong economy and to pass to a greener and more innovative economy. The package that will be given to Greece is one the largest being given to EU member-states,” he said, noting that it contributes to growth and energy independence.
“In this way, bills for households and enterprise in Greece will become lower. Reforms will be supported so that Greece becomes more competitive,” Dombrovskis concluded.