EU endorses massive pandemic relief for recession-hit Greece

ATHENS, GREECE -- The European Union Thursday endorsed a pandemic recovery plan for Greece worth 30.5 billion euros (US$36.4 billion), providing vital relief for the eurozone member's shaken economy.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, left, hold a dossier during an event at the Ancient Agora of Athens, with the ancient Acropolis hill in the background, on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (Louisa Gouliamaki/Pool via AP)

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen formally announced the approval of Greece's "recovery and resilience" plan at a ceremony under the Acropolis in Athens, providing 12.7 billion euros in loans and 17.8 billion euros in grants through 2026.

"Today, I'm very happy to announce that the European Commission has decided to give its green light to Greece's recovery and resilience plan, Greece 2.0," von der Leyen said, standing alongside Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. The approval "follows a thorough assessment by the commission" of Greece's plans, she said.

Mitsotakis said the Greek plan consists of "175 critical investments, works and reforms," in four sectors: environmental, digital reform, employment and private investment. Greece's plan, he said, "includes works with a significant social and environmental footprint."