In a letter to Prime Minister Lucas Papademos, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso proposes follow-up actions further to their meeting of Feb 29 on measures to support jobs and growth in Greece.
Barroso writes: “… the Commission is ready to support the Greek authorities in taking decisions that can restore confidence and begin the process of revitalising the Greek economy… there are a variety of steps that should be taken right away to improve the business environment; to support small businesses and young people; and to remove the bottlenecks in public administration and the financial system that are preventing the structural funds from flowing to where they are needed, holding back growth and job creation.
The European Commission has already paid more than EUR 8 billion of the EUR 20 billion allocated to Greece since 2007 through the EU structural funds. We are keen to help your authorities target the remaining funds on stimulating growth and competitiveness. For now, there is no shortage of funds but as we discussed there are still too many open questions and administrative hurdles to be overcome before the available funds can reach the real economy.
In priority areas we need to identify where the bottlenecks are and decide on how to remove them within a clear timeframe. This often has to be done top down, which is why I am prepared to work in partnership with you to get things moving…”