The government is planning a sweeping restructuring of the country’s public investments programme, as regards national funds, by revamping the existing legal framework, which dates back to 1955.
Alternate Economy Minister Alexis Haritsis outlined the government’s plans at a meeting with financial reporters, where he said the new programme will be long-term and rolling, as is the case with National Strategic Reference Framework Funding (known as ESPA in Greece), rather than closing at the end of each year, as is the case now.
Directly funding cities
Another major change is that municipalities will receive public investment funding directly from the central government and not via prefectures, as is the case now, which Harisis said created political dependencies. The direct funding also aims to reduce or eliminate project delays and to facilitate emergency aid in the event of disasters.
A new general secretariat of public investments, which is already in place, will implement a new system of management and auditing of projects.
Notably, the definition of public investment will be broadened to allow funding of entrepreneurship projects.
At the start of 2018, the economy ministry will table a bill regarding market checks and oversight, and another piece of draft legislation to create fast-track industrial investments.
Regarding new ESPA programmes designed to stimulate entrepreneurship, ten actions, worth a combined 800 million euros, are planned for 2018.
The first will be a programme called “I save at home”, to promote energy efficiency by funding residential energy upgrades, and another programme will be designed to assist entrepreneurs who wish to do business with foreign countries.