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Economy

Report: Energy and Health the Biggest Challenges for Greece, EU

November 26, 2021

ATHENS – The efficiency and competitiveness of health services and the productvity and competitiveness of the energy sector, the ability to ensure a smooth transition from decarbonisation, are the two main challenges facing the EU and the Greek economy as they move towards a sustainable future, the Centre of Planning and Economic Research said in a report on Friday.

The report, based on the annual survey of the National Productivity Council for 2021, said that Greece has reduced the inefficient use of funds in the health system in the last few years, while the Greece 2.0 plan could further enhance the resilience and effective distribution of funds. However, Greece remained low in the competitiveness indicator related to health, showing a shortfall in public spending on health, health infrastructure and healthcare, because of the high percentage of household payments (35.2% of total health spending).

Greece has implemented several reforms in the energy sector to harmonise environmental targets, achieving a decline in GHG, while it also widened competition in the market and set as a target the retirement of all coal-burning units by 2028. On the other hand, electricity and natural gas prices for households, measured in purchasing power units, are among the highest in the EU27 and energy poverty rates remained above the EU27 average. At the same time, the Greek economy remained highly dependent on energy imports and had a lower energy productivity compared with EU27 levels, making it imperative that the budget for energy projects (6.0 billion euros) included in the Greek Recovery and Resilience Plan be fully exploited to ensure accessible and clean energy in the country, the report said.

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