Coronavirus response: €183.5 million to support Greek economy

The European Commission has approved the modification of three national Operational Programmes (OPs) in Greece that will redirect €183.5 million to address the effects of the coronavirus crisis in the economy, mainly through the funding of entrepreneurship in the form of working capital and/or guarantees. Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, said: “I am pleased that Greece is for the second time using the flexibility made available in Cohesion policy to support the economy and in particular SMEs and the employment. The Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative continues to be there to help Member States direct European funding to where it is most needed.” Thanks to the transfer of resources from OP “Infrastructure” and OP “Public Sector Reform” to OP “Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation” more SMEs will receive support. Greece has quickly set up a comprehensive framework for crisis response measures and, since April, has launched four business support schemes: loan guarantees to businesses through the creation of a Guarantee Fund for working capital loans; interest subsidy for existing SME loans; interest subsidy for new SME working capital loans; repayable advance scheme in the form of grants to SMEs. In total, approximately 105,500 enterprises are expected to be supported through these schemes. Modifying this OP is possible thanks to the exceptional flexibility provided under the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative (CRII) and Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative Plus (CRII+) which allow Member States to use Cohesion policy funding to support the most exposed sectors to the pandemic. Further details are available here.