The transformation effort for Greece’s two lignite-dependent economies, west Macedonia, in the country’s north, and Megalopoli, in the Peloponnese, stands to receive three billion euros in additional support through two sources, Invest EU, established to fund decarbonization initiatives, and the European Investment Bank, Constantinos Mousouroulis, head of the government’s coordinating committee for the transition, announced at yesterday’s Delphi Economic Forum.
The three billion-euro amount, Mousouroulis noted, will add to two billion euros already made available for the effort through the EU’s Just Transition Fund and Recovery and Resilience Facility.
The official acknowledged that delays, especially financial, have held back the transition plan for the two regions, attributing the slow progress to the pandemic and, subsequently, the European Commission’s ability to operate.
Mousouroulis, at the forum, strongly defended recent efforts for the transformation of the west Macedonian and Megalopoli local economies, noting that complacency was prevalent for years.
“Not only was there no Plan B, but not even a Plan A for forthcoming changes concerning goals to combat climate change,” the official noted.
A total of 24,700 hectares of unutilized property to result from the closure of power utility PPC’s lignite-fired power stations and lignite mines in the west Macedonia and Megalopoli regions, both lignite-dependent economies for decades, is expected to be redeveloped through the program, to include PPC investments.
A special purpose vehicle is being established to attract investors, Mousouroulis said.