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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 15-09-04

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Potami leader Theodorakis attacks SYRIZA-ANEL on migration issue
  • [02] EU Commissioner Cretu: We will continue to support Greece

  • [01] Potami leader Theodorakis attacks SYRIZA-ANEL on migration issue

    ANA/MPA---Potami leader Stavros Theodorakis on Friday attacked on SYRIZA-ANEL government accusing it of lack of efficiency in handling the migration problem.

    "The caretaker government's efforts on the migration issue over the last week demonstrate the lack of efficiency of SYRIZA-ANEL government," he underlined in a written statement.

    "The announcement of caretaker ministers to set up a coordination centre, as Potami has suggested and the United Nations had asked for, shows how simple things are if there is will," he added.

    [02] EU Commissioner Cretu: We will continue to support Greece

    ANA/MPA---uropean Commissioner Corina Cretu responsible for the Regional policy, participated in the extraordinary meeting of the Regional Development Committee of the European parliament to discuss European Commission's proposals over the support to Greece. Commissioner Cretu made the following statement.

    Today I participated in an extraordinary meeting of the Committee on Regional Development in the European Parliament, to discuss the Commission's proposals to help Greece fully benefit from the European Structural and Investment Funds. Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis and I had presented these measures in the Commission's Plan for Jobs and Growth in Greece on 15 July.

    In 2014-2020, the EU will invest more than €35 billion in Greece, among which €20 billion from the European Structural and Investment Funds. These funds are a key source of financing for the real economy and they have made a major contribution to strengthen Greece's economic, social and territorial cohesion. In the current difficult times, they play an important role in paving the way for a prosper future.

    Our proposals, which aim to address the liquidity issue hampering the successful implementation of Cohesion Policy the country, are now in the hands of the European Parliament and the Council.

    As I explained to the Members of the European Parliament, I cannot stress enough the importance of adopting these exceptional measures as soon as possible. Public funds need to be released now to allow EU funds to flow and support investment for a swift, tangible and positive impact on the Greek economy.

    These exceptional measures are relevant to both the 2007-2013 and the 2014-2020 programming periods.

    For 2014-2020 we proposed to increase the rate of initial pre-financing for Cohesion Policy programmes by 7 percentage points. This budget neutral measure will make an additional €1 billion available over two years – €500 million in 2015 and €500 million in 2016 – which would help kick-start investments on the ground.

    For 2007-2013, we proposed that the last 5% of EU payments that would be normally retained until closure in 2017 are made available right away to the Greek authorities.

    We also proposed to completely remove the need for national co-financing - so an EU co-financing rate of 100% would apply for the 2007-2013 period. It means that an additional €500 million would be available immediately after the agreement of the European Parliament and the Council. This would relieve the strain on the Greek budget, overall saving nearly €2 billion.

    The Commission services are working closely with the Greek authorities to ensure the best use of the European Structural and Investment Funds, as it is not only a matter of spending the money, but of spending it wisely. Together we will ensure that investments are targeted at key growth-generating areas such as Research and Innovation or the support to the development and internationalization of Greek small businesses.

    We have always stood by Greece, with both financial support and technical assistance, and we will continue to do so in the future. I will go to Greece again this autumn to exchange with the stakeholders in charge of the shared management of EU funds. We will work hand in hand to make the most out of these new opportunities.


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