The European Commission announced on Monday that its provisional assessment of Greece’s progress with regard to the 15 milestones the country must meet in 2021 was positive, giving its approval to the disbursement of the first tranche of resources from the Next Generation EU fund in the amount of 3.6 billion euros. .
As Alternate Finance Minister Thodoros Skylakakis said, “We are entering the home stretch towards the disbursement of the tranche in April.” The next step will be the opinion of the economic and monetary authorities in Brussels within four weeks, then the final approval by the European Commission.
Of the €3.6 billion due next month, €1.72 billion is in grants and €1.85 billion will be in the form of loans.
Commission data shows that Greece is the fourth country to have submitted a payment request (only five Member States have done so to date), with only one payment made so far (€10 billion to date). ‘Spain). Athens also received the initial payment of 4 billion euros last August.
Nevertheless, achieving the objectives and milestones for the next tranches seems increasingly difficult, both in terms of volume and content. The next tranche, amounting to €1.97 billion (grants only), requires the achievement of 25 milestones and objectives by the end of the first half of the year, while the next, a tranche of 4.09 billion euros (including 2.12 billion euros in loans), is associated with 44 other requirements due by the end of the year.
In total, there are 69 milestones required for this year: They concern reforms in the renewable energy and waste management sectors, in urban and rail transport, in aid for the disabled, in the modernization of the economy with the digitization of small and medium-sized enterprises, in smart manufacturing and industrial parks, as well as the reform of the lifelong learning context.
So, it seems that after the enhanced post-bailout surveillance ends, probably in August, the rush for reforms will continue until mid-2026 regarding the goals and milestones of the Greece 2.0 plan. The peak of the effort should be in the second half of 2025, when more than 100 requirements will be due.