Discussions on the use of ANFAs and SMPs will begin after the holiday season. The amount, if it is decided for it to be utilized to boost investment (as a result of the Eurogroup decision in June 2018), will have to be spent by 2020. Therefore, even in the event that the government already has a list of investments after March 2020 (it is expected that in this month’s Eurogroup the Greek request will be dealt with definitively), the period afterwards is going to be a race in order for the country to be able to absorb the money within the next year.
It is worth recalling that in the past there was a debate over how to use the return on profits (about 1.2 billion per year) of Greek bonds held by European banks (also known as ANFAs and SMPs), with the December 2019 Eurogroup adopting the conclusion to allow for the amount to be directed towards the Public Investment Program from 2020 onwards. This decision derived from a June 2018 Eurogroup relevant decision, which included using the profits from the 2014 SMP program from the separate ESM account and restoring the transfer of profits from the SMP program and the ANFA agreement in Greece (from fiscal year 2017). The funds will be transferred to Greece on a six-month basis in December and June, starting from 2018 until June 2022, through the separate ESM account and will be used to reduce gross financial needs or to fund other agreed investment projects”.
Given this, the financial staff, while negotiating on the use of funds, is looking to draw up a list of mature investments that will not only be feasible but that will make it possible for the resources to be absorbed within a few months. Early reports include: the Northern Road of Crete, waste management units, Macedonia’s gas networks and projects in the sector of Education or Health. /ibna