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Thursday, 29 November 2007

Greece unveils National Strategic Reference Framework Programme

In the continuing low key struggle to create a civil society Greece unveiled a National Strategic Reference Framework programme for 2007-2013 this month. This is primarily about developing the power in Athens to get the Regions to do the things with EU money that was intended, instead of paying endless and increasing fines to Brussels for taking the money and not doing the things it was intended for. Is this familiar? Presenting the National Strategic Reference Framework, the Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufishe said the Fourth Community Support Framework program would total €36.4 billion, including national participation, of which 42% would be earmarked for infrastructure projects, 21% for innovation and digital convergence, 14% for education, 12% for employment and 4.0% for health-care infrastructure projects. The National Strategic Reference Framework is compatible with a National Reform Programme and focuses on innovation, entrepreneurship, viable infrastructures and upgrading human capital. The programme cuts Greece into five geographical regions: Macedonia-Thrace, Peloponnese-Western Greece-Ionian Islands, Thessaly-Central Greece-Epirus, Crete-Aegean Islands, and Attica.
Our aim is to stop being laggards in the EU and to be among the pioneers, as a successful implementation of the program would raise the country's average living standard and Greece will be disconnected from community funds.
Economy Deputy Minister Christos Folias said a Third Community Support Framework programme envisaged more funds than the country could absorb and stressed that the absorption rate currently was at 47.6%. The programme was drafted using GDP figures before its upward revision by 25.7%. I can hear the line buzzing between Athens and Eurostat about 'absorption' figures.

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Simon Baddeley