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Almost 600 billion to be spent on tourism projects

Greece`s tourism sector gets at least 570 billion drachmas for infrastructure projects over the next five years, according to National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou. The funds – 270 billion with the private sector contributing another 300 billion drachmas – are part of the European<.> Union`s Third Community Support Framework, or Santer package of funds for Greece.
The major emphasis on the expenditure of the tourism funds goes toward the improvement of tourism services: We want hotel units that are four-and five-star units, said Mr. Papantoniou.
The minister explained that he wants to see quality modernization of tourism units and businesses and the creation of infrastructure for special tourism products. He mentioned marinas, conference centers, hydro and thalassa therapy centers, golf, mountain trails and theme tourism projects.
He added that the government intends to strengthen the competitiveness of small- and medium-size tourism enterprises.
As well, he said that almost five trillion drachmas are slated for works tied to the tourism sector. Some 450 billion drachmas will be spent on culture projects and 4.2 trillion drachmas goes to the transport sector, a sector which the minister said takes top priority. The sum would be used to complete major road network projects, such as the Patras-Thessaloniki motorway, Egnatia Way, Athens ring road, Ionian Way, and metro construction in Athens and Thessaloniki.
The plan also includes funding for a bridge to be built to link Rio with Antirrio and electrification of the railway network.
Mr. Papantoniou explained that the Santer package of funds total 13.0 trillion drachmas and include the EU`s contribution of 9.0 trillion drachmas; the government`s contribution of 3.5 trillion drachmas; and a reserve of 500 billion drachmas. The private sector would add another 3.2 trillion drachmas from their involvement in projects.

Greece`s tourism sector gets at least 570 billion drachmas for infrastructure projects over the next five years, according to National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou. The funds – 270 billion with the private sector contributing another 300 billion drachmas – are part of the European<.> Union`s Third Community Support Framework, or Santer package of funds for Greece.

The major emphasis on the expenditure of the tourism funds goes toward the improvement of tourism services: We want hotel units that are four-and five-star units, said Mr. Papantoniou.

The minister explained that he wants to see quality modernization of tourism units and businesses and the creation of infrastructure for special tourism products. He mentioned marinas, conference centers, hydro and thalassa therapy centers, golf, mountain trails and theme tourism projects.

He added that the government intends to strengthen the competitiveness of small- and medium-size tourism enterprises.

As well, he said that almost five trillion drachmas are slated for works tied to the tourism sector. Some 450 billion drachmas will be spent on culture projects and 4.2 trillion drachmas goes to the transport sector, a sector which the minister said takes top priority. The sum would be used to complete major road network projects, such as the Patras-Thessaloniki motorway, Egnatia Way, Athens ring road, Ionian Way, and metro construction in Athens and Thessaloniki.

The plan also includes funding for a bridge to be built to link Rio with Antirrio and electrification of the railway network.

Mr. Papantoniou explained that the Santer package of funds total 13.0 trillion drachmas and include the EU`s contribution of 9.0 trillion drachmas; the government`s contribution of 3.5 trillion drachmas; and a reserve of 500 billion drachmas. The private sector would add another 3.2 trillion drachmas from their involvement in projects.

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