Gentiloni welcomes Greece’s return to investment grade

“The fact that Greece returned to the investment grade is good news, for the EU, the eurozone and especially for Greece,” European Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni said on Monday.

“ This positive news is very important since in the last few months Greece faced a number of natural disasters, and from both a macro-economic and economic point of view this progress is very good for the country,” he added.

He went on to clarify that Greece will receive assistance from the EU emergency support fund for natural disasters over the summer “and not only from that”, in response to questions on what form European assistance for Greece might take ahead of Tuesday’s visit by the Greek prime minister to Brussels.

He explained that the EU has an emergency fund for the support of regions coping with natural disasters, the European Union Solidarity Fund, to which Member-States have three months to submit an estimate of the economic damage sustained.

“I am certain that the European Commission will endeavour to support through this emergency support fund and not only that, Greece’s efforts to deal with this new crisis,” he said.

Pointing out that Greece had to deal with both destructive wildfires and floods during the summer, he noted that such phenomena indicated the extreme weather crisis Europe now faces.

Asked how soon the EU financial assistance will be disbursed, Gentiloni said that some funds will be available from the current year but in a more restricted way, with more substantial assistance the following year.