Greece is moving at an accelerated pace…absorbing investments, as is now evident from many sources of official data. According to the data of the Commission, Greece is in the second position of absorbing funds from the Juncker package. As reflected in them, in December, the top five countries in a series of GDP-related investments are Estonia, Greece, Bulgaria, Portugal and Spain.
Investments of up to 20 billion euros within the next three years
Apparently, Greece is one of the first countries to benefit from the Juncker Plan, having so far contracted close to 4 billion euros in important infrastructure but also in the financing of small and medium-sized enterprises, which was achieved in close co-operation with the European Investment Bank.
Besides, in the years 2016 and 2017, programmes and projects of 5 billion euros were agreed with the bank for a record amount of the past 10 years. These agreements brought an additional 2 billion euros in disbursements to the Greek economy, in 2017. It is noteworthy that, for the coming three years, agreements with the Bank have been launched already for projects of 7 billion euros worth, to trigger investments of more than 20 billion euros, according to the EIB’s own estimates.
Benefits for 539,000 European small businesses
Commission Vice-President, Jyrki Katainen, responsible for employment, growth, investment and competitiveness, said: “The investments supported by the ERCU (adopted by the Juncker package) to date will increase the EU GDP by 0.7% and will create around 700,000 jobs by 2020… The investment project is particularly successful in financing SMEs, as it is already expected that 539,000 small businesses will benefit from funding for their development.”
Strategic investments of 256.1 billion in Europe
Meanwhile, following the Board meeting of the European Investment Bank (EIB) this week, the European Strategic Investment Fund (ETSF) is expected to mobilize 256.1 billion euros in investment. Agreements adopted under the ETSC concern a total funding of 51.1 billion euros in all 28 Member States. Approximately 539,600 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are expected to benefit from improved access to finance.
Also this week, Members of the European Parliament voted for the adoption of the regulation to extend the operation and strengthen the ETCE, the central pillar of the investment plan for Europe.
Source: Giannis Agouridis/balkaneu.com