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Greece letting EU funds to fight unemployment and social exclusion slip away

Illustration by Manos Symeonakis

European Union funding mainly aimed at helping the unemployed — who now number almost 800,000 — get back to work, Kathimerini English Edition has learned.

European Commission sources said that Greece was entitled to claim 4.2 billion euros between 2007 and 2013 through the European Social Fund (ESF), which is designed to promote employment and enhance social inclusion in the EU. However, Greece, which is notoriously poor at absorbing EU funds, has used just a small percentage of this money.

Sources said that Greece has only claimed 18.5 percent (less than 800 million euros) so far. The average absorption rate for ESF funds across the 27 member states is 24 percent.

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