The Greek government on Wednesday officially launched the operation of a new investment law in the country seeking to restart business activity in the country by offering tax incentives worth 2.2 billion euros and financial support worth 800 million euros.

Presenting the new investment law, Regional Development and Competitiveness Minister Mihalis Chryssohoidis said candidate investors must submit their investment plans by the end of May and announced that the selection and approval procedures will be completed within six months. Chryssohoidis also announced the launch of a new National Fund for Business and Development (ETEAN) which it is expected to contribute in supporting enterprises, particularly small- and medium-sized enterprises, export activity and innovative companies.

This combination will allow investors to promote their business plan, with incentives such as tax breaks, subsidies, supporting leasing expenses and favourable bank financing.

The Greek minister said the aim is to offer time to candidate investors to prepare their plans and to submit their applications electronically by May 31, while the operation of Investor Service Offices was expected to begin next week. He also announced that the ministry will launch a tender, in the next few days, for the selection of banks which will co-invest with ETEAN for the creation of six Lending Funds. Theses funds will lend enterprises with very favourable terms. ETEAN will invest 400 million euros in the project, while banks will be required to invest double that figure.

All small, very small and medium-sized enterprises -legally operating in Greece- are eligible in participating in the program, along with all enterprises which have met their tax and social insurance obligations.

"It is my belief that we are now taking a crucial turn for the great change. A change of rules, but mostly of mentality which will liberate the country's creative forces to invest and particularly the new generation to spearhead a new growth miracle," Chryssohoidis said.