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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 12-07-13

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] European Commissioner for Regional Policy Hahn in Athens
  • [02] Tsipras to chair European Left Exec Committee conference

  • [01] European Commissioner for Regional Policy Hahn in Athens

    AMNA/European Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn, who is currently visiting Athens, held separate talks on Thursday with Development, Competitiveness, Infrastructures, Transport and Networks Minister Costis Hatzidakis and Interior Minister Evripidis Stylianidis.

    Hahn assured Hatzidakis that he will mediate with the European Investments Bank (EIB) for the release of valuable funds for Greece.

    Hahn said that Greece is showing good rates in the absorption of funds and is higher than the European average, however it appears that the funds do not reach the beneficiaries easily and this is an issue that should be solved in cooperation with the EU as well. He also said that that the orientation of the funds of ESPA (NSRF, the National Strategic Reference Framework) for the backing of SMEs will be of decisive importance in the struggle against unemployment.

    On his part, Hatzidakis said that the discussion focused on the issues of liquidity, while mentioning that he briefed the Commissioner on the course of the 181 priority projects that have been agreed with the EU.

    The minister further revealed that the draft agreement on the motorways will have been completed by September and the final decision will have been publicised by the end of the year.

    Lastly, Hatzidakis said that the reduction of bureaucracy for the speedier release of ESPA funds constitutes a basic priority for the ministry.

    The talks with Stylianidis covered the modernisation and rationalisation of local government authorities, setting up a 'social shield policy' and waste management.

    Stylianidis said that experts from the EU Task Force for Greece will assist Greek municipalities in updating their administrative structures and operation in order to improve their administration and achieve optimum financial management. He noted that the Administrative Reform ministry will also be asked to assist, providing funds from the 500 million euro it has received from the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) to spend on electronic governance.

    Concerning the 'Social Shield', Stylianidis said that this will be financed by the state, the NSRF and from money saved by reorganising local authorities. The minister underlined that the programme was essential and noted that municipalities, which had seen their finances cut 61 percent in the last two years, had to be supported because they were the "only living network of social protection".

    Hahn counter-proposed seeking all the unused European funds in the NSRF and other funds or programmes that had not yet been exploited by Greece.

    On the issue of waste management, Stylianidis stressed the urgency of using European funds to speed up the closure of dump sites. Noting that this was an issue involving several ministries, including his own, the finance ministry, the development ministry and the environment ministry, he suggested that this issue might require the appointment of an 'expediting' minister.

    [02] Tsipras to chair European Left Exec Committee conference

    AMNA/ Main opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras will address the opening of the two-day sessions (July 14-15) of the European Left Party's Executive Committee conference at a downtown Athens hotel.

    The situation in Greece after the elections will be discussed at the Executive Committee's conference, that will be chaired by Tsipras, who is also vice president of the European Left Party, as well as the Executive Committee's draft political decision on the situation in Europe after the summit.


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