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Guest Viewpoints

The Restart of the Greek Economy Begins from Attica

March 30, 2021
By George Patoulis, Governor of the Attica Region

The global financial crisis, the pandemic crisis and its repercussions in the euro area have uncoveredvulnerabilities of banks and enterprises. Of course, the response of the ECB and national authorities has been instrumental in mitigating the impact of the crises on the real economy and financial stability across the European Union.

According to the joint European Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) survey on the impact of COVID-19 crisis on regional and local governments, most subnational governments are still coping with the health emergency and have not yet reached the stage of implementing recovery measures. The survey also shows that the COVID-19 crisis may reshape priorities in regional development policy. Regions and municipalities are calling for more focus on affordable and accessible quality basic services including health to all territories (76%), regional resilience (69%) and reducing digital divides across regions (68%).

Municipalities and Regions in Greece need to address structural inefficiencies in the post COVID-19 recovery period, with inclusive measures, especially for local business support and employmentand support to vulnerable households. In particular, any actionshould combine economic recovery with environmental sustainability with an emphasis on clean forms of urban mobility and energy efficiency.

The Attica Region has included 9,600 small and very small enterprises into the 250 million euros support scheme for entrepreneurs, allocated 8 million euros to upgrade skills at least 6,000 employees in the private sector, through the Attica RDP 2014-2020 scheme. It has also granted 50 million of micro-credit and 18 million for enterprises involved in the tourism industry.

In the longer term, the Attica Region will develop plans for a more efficient use of resources and more sustainable consumption and production patterns, notably by promoting circular economy to keep the value of goods and products at their highest, prevent waste generation, reuse and transform waste into resources.The planning also involves investing in green measures in Attica that does not only create jobs and sets local conditions for long-term economic growth, but also reduces emissions, increases awareness for climate related risks and improves urban environmental quality.One of the most emblematic projects isthe regeneration of the “Falirikon” Bay. The Attica Region has embraced it as a priority, while giving instructions to all the competent services to speed up the relevant procedures.

The promotion of Attica Region is not only supported for recreational but also for financial purposes. Foreign investors should take into account that the Attica Region is situated in the South Eastern Europe with a proximity to Greek islands, while linked to a wider investment region with a qualified network of human resources.

Funding (with financial support from the Attica Region and EU programmes) of entrepreneurial activity is a top priority, relating to the creation or expansion of their business and distribution of technologies in the Region. Such enterprises can then be acquired from foreign established groups, increasing immensely their valuation. Through these measures, the Attica Region supports regional economic cooperation, whichincreases production efficiency, economies of scale and contributes to job growth.

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