The European Commission is considering a freeze to funding from the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) for Greek programs from 2014-2020 after an investigation of the Greek Competitiveness Commission showed that the preconditions for the commissioning of public works were not being met. There is suspicion of manipulation in the tendering procedures for infrastructure procurements.
An internal memo by the European Commission published in New Europe on May 17, states that Greek authorities will investigate possible violations on July 21. There are already companies that have been pinpointed for participation in the cartel that include basic Greek construction companies and large ones active on the Greek scene. This is confirmed in a letter signed by Walter Deffaa, Director-General for Regional Development.
It is suspected that the decision to pause payments will not be announced until EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker concludes his trip to Athens but before the case is examined on July 21.
The cartel was allegedly active for over 27 years from 1989, to this year, in the domain of road construction, railroads, metro, and concession projects. The Director-General confirms that some of these projects “will certainly have been co-financed by EU funds.”