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(08 - 01 - 2014)


On January 8th, Commissioner Hahn travels to Athens for the official beginning of the Greek six-month term of the rotating EU presidency in the presence of European Commission President Barroso and all other EU Commissioners. The Commissioner will discuss the Greek Presidency's priorities in the cohesion policy field.

A regional visit to Attica will follow on January 9th where Commissioner Hahn will meet with the Governor of Attica, Mr Ioannis Sgouros and representatives of Research and Entrepreneurs to discuss how the region can best take advantage of the new cohesion policy for 2014-2020 by specializing in sectors with growth potential. Attica is the 8th of the 13 Greek regions the Commissioner has visited so far where he will also visit EU financed projects.

Attica hosts a third of the population of Greece including Greece's capital Athens. It hosts 37% of Greece's workforce and produces over 40% of its GDP. It remains the most important industrial producer and entrepreneur of the country, with a pre-dominant service sector -transport, tourism, finance and public administration. It is also the country’s leader in Research and Development. Nevertheless, technology manufacturing and ICT & microelectronics need to be further developed. With an unemployment rate of 28%, the potential for tourism, Research & Development and manufacturing in the region is enormous but is torn by the crisis and structural weaknesses.


What are Attica’s regional priorities?

In order to make the Attica region the hub of Southeast Europe, both regionally and internationally, the region's priorities are: the creation of new jobs, the transformation of the regional business sector into an extroverted and less state-dependent one and the further development of regional infrastructure. Investments should be targeted on research and innovation, enhancing the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and supporting the shift towards a low-carbon economy.


How is EU regional policy contributing?

For the 2007-13 period Attica receives support from a regional programme supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) with EU investments of €2.24 billion. Until the end of 2013 €1.4 billion have been paid (63.1%) and the Greek authorities recently submitted payment claims for another €0.4 billion, raising the absorption rate to 83.9%.

For the 2014 – 2020 the region is categorized as a more developed region, since its GDP per capita was above 90% of the EU average. Investments should be well targeted, promote synergies between ESI funds and interventions and produce local added-value and employment. The new urban policy instrument "Integrated Territorial Investment" could be a good tool for tackling urban development while particular attention will be paid to social cohesion in Athens.


Projects examples:

- Extension of the Attiko Metro to the Piraeus port: EU and national financing €391 million

This project has dramatically changed urban transport in the Attica basin. It has raised the standard of living for Athens residents and improved air quality. The extension of line 3 of the Athens Metro to the centre of Piraeus will connect the country's biggest port to Athens and the international airport.

- Conservation and restoration of the Acropolis monuments: EU and national financing €8 million

This project is part of a series of projects to promote national cultural and archaeological treasures in the region. The goal is to make these various sites into economic magnets for the development of other activities.

- Extension of the Port of Lavrio: EU and national financing €3.8 million

The extension of harbour installations of Lavrio Port allows through the construction and extension of a dock for the reception of cruise ships. Also the improvement of installations for the conventional commercial boats that execute itineraries in the islands of the Aegean facilitates the connection of the Aegean islands to the capital.

- Construction of rainwater pipelines in Paiania : EU and national financing €22.1 million

The project is about construction of two large rain water pipes for the protection from flood in Paiania area East Attica. Total length of pipes is 5.120 meters approximately. During works archeological findings are extracted and protected.


Further information:

Attica Operational Programme

Region of Attica