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EUR 20 billion from the European Structural and Investment Funds could be mobilised to create jobs and sustainable growth, and Greek farmers should continue to benefit from direct payments of over EUR 15 billion.
As an exceptional measure and given the unique situation of Greece, for investments still to be funded in the 2007-2013 programming period, the Commission will make a number of proposals to improve immediate liquidity so that investments can be made now, with their beneficial impact on growth and jobs. These will include early release of the last 5% of remaining EU payments normally retained until the closure of the programmes and applying a 100% co-financing rate for the 2007-2013 period. This would translate into immediate additional liquidity of some EUR 500 million and a saving for the Greek budget of around EUR 2 billion which will be available to resume financing for investments supporting growth and jobs. The Commission will also propose to increase the rate of initial pre-financing for programmes for 2014-2020 in Greece by 7 percentage points. This extra pre-financing can make an additional EUR 1 billion available to be used only for the launch of the projects co-financed under the cohesion policy.
Greece currently enjoys preferential treatment given its very specific circumstances. Greek programmes financed with the EU funds under 2007-2013 programming period receive a higher proportion of EU financing – and hence Greece is required to co-finance less – than many other countries. This comes via a 10% "top up" of EU co-financing until mid-2016 – in many cases this means that the EU pays for 95% of the total investment cost under the 2007-2013 financing period (as opposed to the maximum of 85% otherwise applicable).
For cohesion policy, provided all the conditions are met, the Greek authorities can still continue to be reimbursed up to the regulatory 95% ceiling for eligible expenditure made on 2007-2013 Programmes.
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