The Task Force has made steady progress in assisting the Greek authorities, in a spirit of solidarity, to help implement a wide range of reforms agreed in the context of the economic adjustment programme for Greece and to maximise the use of EU Structural Funds.
The assistance provided by the Taskforce builds on the commitment of the Greek authorities to implement these reforms, which are necessary to rebuild an economy that is conducive to growth and job creation, as set out in the Memorandum of Understanding with Greece.
During the first quarter of 2013, the Greek authorities made greater use of technical assistance to support a broader range of reforms. The TFGR now supports an extensive range of reforms in 12 principal policy areas.
The report sets out the assistance provided by the Task Force, the Member States, international organisations and other specialist bodies to support Greece in implementing a comprehensive programme of reforms. These include:
- Reform of the central administration: a review of the organisation of most Greek Ministries - representing about 206 000 staff - has been carried out. This paved the way for the adoption of proposals by the Greek Council of Reform in March and April 2012, under the authority of the Greek Prime Minister.
- Motorways concessions: site works on four motorway concession projects restarted earlier this month. In parallel, discussions are continuing between the Greek Government and concessionaires to secure the long-term financing of the projects, based on the "reset agreement", to ensure the financial viability of the projects. A draft agreement was presented to the Commission in January for approval. A decision on the long-term financing of the project is expected in June.
- Export facilitation: the detailed screening of pre-customs controls for 2 important export products (fresh fruit and feta cheese) has been swiftly followed by legislation to introduce some initial simplification of controls and working methods.
- Out of court settlement: drawing on technical assistance for the design of "out of court" settlement procedures, a mediation system in Greece was recently launched. This involves a 3-year campaign to help people avoid lengthy and expensive court procedures and to develop centres to train accredited mediators.