The World Bank Group has been engaged with the government of Greece since 2012, providing the country with its global expertise and advice to provide better social protection for citizens and build a more competitive economy.
Over the last five years, the World Bank has supported Greece in improving social safety nets for the poorest and most vulnerable. It is also supporting the country’s efforts to become a more attractive venue for businesses and investors, by improving Greece’s investment licensing system, and is helping the government on land ownership rights through an improved cadaster system and the introduction of labor market initiatives.
The Social Solidarity Income (KEA) program, being implemented with assistance from the World Bank Group, is designed to provide a guaranteed minimum income to the poorest and most vulnerable citizens in Greece. The program, the first of its kind to be rolled-out nationally, provides a targeted social safety net for around 400,000 people. This program holds promise for protecting Greece’s extreme poor, who were disproportionally affected by the crisis and for whom the existing system did not provide sufficient coverage.
With help from the World Bank Group, Greece has also made measureable improvements in its business climate. The Bank has been providing advice to the Government of Greece on improving their “Doing Business” indicators and on investment licensing reform. Acting on advice from the World Bank Group, Greece has moved forward in the “Doing Business” rankings - moving from a rank over 100 to a current rank of 61.
As improving competitiveness is key to Greece’s future, the World Bank Group is also supporting efforts to make the country more attractive for businesses and investors through its work to improve the country’s investment licensing system.
The new Investment Licensing Law - conceived with the help of World Bank Group technical assistance – helps to achieve broader coverage of economic sectors by improving legal certainty and introducing a notification procedure that makes licensing reform easier.
IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, is also investing in Greece, in coordination with other lenders, through a €154 million loan to Fraport Greece, to upgrade 14 regional airports in order to boost tourism, generate revenue for the government, and create jobs. This work builds on earlier work to help keep the financial sector stable through investment in Greece’s four systemic banks.