The European Commission's task force on Greece will present its first report on the strategy that the country needs to follow to emerge from the recession, as well as the progress made by the Greek government which "has not been acknowledged to the degree it should have by Europe» at the end of October, the task force's chief Horst Reichenbach said in Athens on Wednesday.
Addressing an event organised by three joint chambers (Greece-France, Greece-German and Greece-Italy chambers of commerce and industry" on the theme "Recovery now, a Herculean Task for Greece", Reichenbach said the task force will comprise approximately 30 people, of which 10 will be headquartered in Brussels and the remaining 20 will be staying in Greece.
He said the task force's aim is communication with the Greek government as well as the authorities of the European Union, the OECD and the European Central Bank to achieve acceleration of the absorption of funds from the EU's structural funds and provide technical assistance for advancement of the required package of reforms.
What the task force will not do is have the authority to check or substitute for the Greek authorities, Reichenbach stressed, adding that "it is the Greek government that sets the priorities and sets out the needs, and we will provide it with our technical support".
He expressed satisfaction with the preparedness of the relevant ministers he met and discussed with on Tuesday, the first day of his mission in Greece, adding that the task force needs to focus on the immense problem in access to funding, while there are still obstacles in business activity and boosting is needed of individual sectors of the economy such as tourism, energy and agriculture.
Reichenbach noted that the task force is in Greece following the request of the Greek prime minister to the EU and the interest in helping out manifested by European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso.
Pangalos meets head of EU Commission Task Force
Government vice-president Theodoros Pangalos on Wednesday met the head of the European Commission Task Force for Greece, Horst Reichenbach. They discussed the implementation of the technical assistance that the task force will offer Greece.
The meeting was held at Pangalos' office and Reichenbach was accompanied by Panos Karvounis, the head of the European Commission representation in Greece, and Zorzetta Lali, a director at the European Commission.
It was also attended by George Glynos, an advisor to Prime Minister George Papandreou on European issues.