- Workers made redundant in six companies producing household appliances in Attica, Greece, should receive €1.5 million in EU aid.
On Tuesday, the Committee on Budgets approved Greece’s request for funding from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund for Displaced Workers (EGF). In their decision, MEPs acknowledge that “expenditure for new household appliances in Greece was strongly impacted first by the economic crisis from 2008 to 2016 and second by the COVID-19 pandemic”.
Reasons for the dismissals include domestic supply shortages of electrical components, high productions costs, difficulties in adapting to the digitalisation and automation of production processes.
The support for the dismissed workers will include advisory services and individual job-seeking assistance, training in digital skills, and tailored vocational training, leading to a certification, where possible, or support in securing higher education qualifications. Participants can also receive advice on how to start their own business coupled with a start-up grant of up to €22,000.
The total estimated cost of these measures is about €1.8 million, of which the EGF will cover 85% (€1.5 million). The Public Investment Programme of the Greek Ministry of Economy and Development will finance the remaining 15%.
The draft report by rapporteur Bogdan Rzońca (ECR, PL) recommending that Parliament approve the aid was passed by 29 votes, 1 against and no abstentions. The vote in plenary will take place on 23 June in Brussels.
Under the new 2021-2027 EGF regulation, the Fund will continue to support workers and self-employed people whose work has stopped. The new rules allow support to be given to a larger number of people affected by having their jobs or sector restructured: all types of unexpected major restructuring events are eligible for support, including the economic effects of the COVID-19 crisis, as well as larger economic trends like decarbonisation and automation. Member states can apply for EU funding when at least 200 workers lose their jobs within a specific reference period.