Further support to the municipalities to deal with the increased energy costs, “brave” solutions to the problem of understaffing of local authorities, interventions in the next two months on the issue of redistribution of responsibilities and solutions to individual issues of concern to Local Government, said the Deputy Minister of Interior at the Extraordinary Meeting of Mayors convened by the Central Union of Greek Municipalities (KEDE) for the new data formed by the energy crisis.
“The central state will need to support the Local Government and it will do that, but sensibly and prudently,” said Mr. Petsas and assured that by May there will be a new injection of liquidity to the municipalities in addition to the emergency aid of 114 million euros as additional CAP and € 14 million for school spending announced yesterday.
On the issue of responsibilities, he said that by the end of May there will be legislative intervention for their redistribution from the Decentralized Administrations to the ministries and the Local Government, while the rest (between central administration and local government) is expected to be regulated by autumn.
He announced a double intervention in the issue of loans granted by the Deposits and Loans Fund with an extension of up to 20 years of the repayment period and with a “more reasonable” interest rate.
To increase the debts of third parties to the municipalities, which -as he said- are over 3 billion while they are collected every year only 146 million euros, he said that various solutions are being worked out with the possibility of creating a permanent mechanism for securitization of revenues.
Regarding the wanderers’ fee, he noted that last year’s regulation is extended to a more permanent basis in order to calculate the fee on VAT declarations based on what each store “cuts”, while he announced in advance that from the second half of 2022 it may be automatic performance through a platform to municipalities.
Regarding the landfill fee, Mr. Petsas said that it can not be abolished as it is a European obligation and has been linked to the Recovery Fund but assured that there will be negotiations with the Minister of Environment, Costas Skrekas in the direction of a gradual and milder charge.
He assured of a “serious and not decorative” increase of state funding through the Central Independent Resources from 2023 and promised interventions in the second half of 2022 to fill the gaps of municipalities with employees in specific specialties “not only engineers and machine operators but also administrative and financial staff “.
Finally, the Deputy Minister of Interior did not fail to refer to the financial program “Antonis Tritsis”, estimating that the absorption of funds will reach 4.1 billion euros thanks to the increase of over-commitment to 3.5 billion euros and the transfer of projects at the Recovery Fund and the NSRF. By the end of the month – he added – the invitation for the road construction with emphasis on road safety is expected to be issued, amounting to 225 million euros, which together with the over-commitment will reach 315 million euros.