BRUSSELS — "Today is an important day for Greece and Europe," Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said on Tuesday after an ECOFIN Council meeting in Brussels where EU finance ministers adopted 12 national recovery and resilience plans, including that of Greece.
"This development is the culmination of hard, systematic work of many months by the government in order to submit a mature and ambitious plan and ensure the conditions for the optimal and speediest possible use of the funds from the Recovery Facility," the minister said.
Staikouras pointed out that the Greek Recovery and Resilience Plan amounts to 30.5 billion euros in funding, with the first four billion euros now expected to be disbursed by the end of July, following its adoption. The total disbursed by the end of 2021 will be 7.5 billion euros, he said.
Tuesday's decision by the ECOFIN Council will allow the government to start implementing the Greece 2.0 plan, he added, stressing that this was a plan with Greek ownership, which was cohesive and realistic, and with a marked orientation toward reforms, investments and creating strong and sustainable economic growth, jobs and boosting social cohesion.
Alternate Finance Minister Thodoros Skylakakis also hailed the approval of Greece's plan, the second to be approved by the European Commission with very flattering comments from all sides.
"It is a plan that aims to lead to a fundamental economic and social transformation of the country, acting as a catalyst for economic activity, technologies, institutions and attitudes," Skylakakis said, noting that the funds made available to Greece are the highest per capita among all EU countries.
"The aim is not to simply have a dynamic economic recovery but for the implementation of 'Greece 2.0' to put the country onto a steady course of growth and a change of its productive model, which will become more open, more competitive, greener and more resilient," the minister added.
(ANA/ M. Aroni)