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Brussels sends a rapid response group for the rehabilitation of the Greek economy

01 August 2011 / 13:08:06  GRReporter
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Since for 20 months of work, the Greek Socialists in the government proved unable to cope with the introduction of order in the country, the European Commission decided to provide a stronger support to the Prime Minister George Papandreou and his team. Brussels sends a rapid reaction group that will monitor closely the work of the Greek government. It is convened by the European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, after the decisions taken at the last extraordinary summit of the EU leaders in relation to the aid for Greece, at the end of June this year.

The Working Group is composed of 25 European consultants from various sectors of the economy, who will give a hand to the local ministers in the implementation of the planned reforms. Leader of the Working Group is Horst Reichenbach, who recently retired from the position of General Director of budgetary matters in the Union. He will be directly responsible before the European Economic Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn, who will in turn report the results to Barroso. Horst Reichenbach was Vice-President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (ΕΒRD) and the European leaders agree that he is the man who can lead Greece out of the swamp of inaction. On the Greek side Reichenbach will communicate with George Glinos, who has extensive experience in the European Commission and is familiar with the peculiarities of both the European system and the Greek administration.

The 25 consultants will monitor and advise the activities of the Greek ministers and if they deem it necessary they will seek additional support from specialists on the open market from the Member States of the European Union. The European supervisors start their actual work from 15th of August, and they will be divided into several working groups - from privatization through tax and social policy to healthcare and education. Decisions will be based on good and effective practices implemented in other European countries, coupled with the needs of the Greek reality.

Specialists will work together with their Greek counterparts and will provide technical assistance in the preparation of laws and the implementation of measures related to enhancing the competitiveness and improving the administrative structure. They will also promote more rapid and effective absorption of EU funds and programs which will be the main fuel for the return of the positive economic growth known as the new plan, "Marshall". Every three months they will issue a report on the progress of Greece, such as the supervisory Troika. If needed, they may also issue special reports without a warning, where additional to the intended measures will be noted.

The first report is due out in October this year and will contain measures for the absorbtion of European funds. Work on this report will focus on two main directions. One is technical assistance and providing expertise in the absorbiton of the 14 billion euro under the National Strategic Development Framework (ESPA). These funds will no longer be focused on public projects, as they currently are, but on the private sector for industries that bring high added value. The second guideline is to facilitate administrative processes within the state system, so that these resources reach the final user easier and more transparently. In the privatization process, which is expected to bring in Greece 50 billion euros by 2015 patterns known from the countries in Eastern Europe and the GDR will be applied, and the local leaders will build upon the good practices from the recent past.

Tags: EconomyMarkets Greece Marshall plan European aid monitoring consultancy
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