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The 3rd CSF was designed amidst a very different economic and social setting to that of the previous period:
n A reduction of inflation and public deficits to the lowest levels in the last 25 years, the ensuing reduction of the cost of money, and the adoption of the EURO in 2001 were the main characteristics of the improvement shown in macro-economic indexes.
n Implementation of the 2nd CSF had laid the foundations for the modernization of the country’s technical infrastructure, the productive environment and of the labour force skills.
n Development stakeholders had begun to gradually rid themselves of their protectionist and introverted mentality and exhibited an ever-increasing tendency to adopt the new terms imposed by technological development and the globalisation of economies.
n Structural changes in public corporations and organizations, and their opening-up to market forces and competition, served to remove a critical competitiveness restraining factor which stalled improvements in the Greek economy.
n The entry of Greek companies and products into the Balkan economies and the
n The afore-mentioned developments had greatly increased the profitability of business and created the preconditions for an intensification of private investments but mainly for an improvement in investment venues through the increased participation of private capital.
n The increased demands placed on implementation structures of the 2nd CSF, resulted in organizational and institutional reforms, primarily in the fields of public works, industrial infrastructure, and the support and training of the labour force.
Finally, in 1999 the new Structural Funds regulations formulated a new partnership framework with the European Union, which enforced the adoption of a diversified system of administration and management of the 3rd CSF. This framework involved:
n A relative distancing of the EU from the programming and project selection processes.
n A strengthening of the EU monitoring role and the possibility to impose strict penalties for irregularities.
n A transfer of responsibility for the CSF to the Member State and the obligation of the latter to follow specific and distinct management and monitoring procedures the authority and accountability of which would be assigned to the relevant competent authorities through legislative procedures.
n The real danger of permanent loss of resources in the case of delays in implementation.
In conclusion, the inflow of Community structural funds to