“ELGA is currently in a state of financial stability,” said the organization’s president, Andreas Lykourentzosspeaking to the Parliament’s Production and Trade committee, where the draft law of the Ministry of Rural Development and Food to strengthen the primary sector is being discussed.

Invited together with other representatives of social organizations in order to take a position on the bill, Mr. Lykourentzos said that ELGA has already paid in compensation advances, 150 million euros out of the 260 million euros foreseen by the ad hoc program of the political leadership of the HYPAT , approved by the Commission for the affected farmers of Thessaly.

Its president ELGA announced that “today the 110 million euros required for the continuation of this program arrived at the Bank of Greece and were credited to ELGA’s account. Thus, from February 14, advances will continue on crops that did not receive compensation until now (such as wine grapes, peaches, kiwis, nectarines, horticultural crops). Subsequently, as the ELGA administration has committed in cooperation with the minister, by June 30 the program will have been paid, despite the fact that the European Commission has given us four years to exhaust our obligations”.

“We here, with the help of his employees Organizationwe are trying to speed up the exhaustion of our obligations towards the victims of Thessaly,” he stressed.

Regarding the possibility of paying the Organization’s obligations regarding the losses of the year 2023 – which also concerns a provision of the bill – the president of ELGA said that “in the first stage they will be paid at the end of February, because an effort is being made to pay them as soon as possible more findings across the Territory”. Mr. Lykourentzos clarified that ELGA does not discriminate between regions or types of crops, but whatever findings are passed to the central computers will be paid with a payment, in one installment, at 100% of the value of the finding.”

The president of ELGA clarified that “compensations are not cut by 35% as has been said” and added saying that “at this moment the Organization has collected 145 million euros against the 196 million euros that we have to collect from the farmers, through cultivation-breeding declaration. So we are very good in terms of our income to pay with the looming 200 million euros, 2023 compensations”

According to the Organization’s current data, “there is also a retroactive debt, which is being progressively paid, of the order of 111 million euros by the producers” and thus the Organization “is in financial stability”. Producers “have the possibility to pay us until March 31, 2024 the special insurance contribution of 2023, but we start earlier, in the sense that there are cash available – and with the provision of article 32 of this bill, the ELGA administration is legally shielded , so that payments and repayments can be legally made two months earlier”.

For the period 2020-2024 (with the money given a few days ago) we have 1,142,025,489.44 euros in compensation payments through the ELGA Regulation. The aid from the government in the amount of 366 million euros to retroactive beneficiaries. The regular payment of the annual state aid of 30 million euros. Of these, the 30 million euros of legal state aid, 15 million euros have already been signed and are expected at the beginning of next week to be credited to the Organization, so that the salaries of the employees and the obligations of the contracts with the contractors are guaranteed who support ELGA’s work” said Mr. Lykourentzos.

To the above, he added that “100,352,156 euros have been given through the State Financial Support Programs, which we are progressively replacing through State Aid to shorten the procedures and to compensate the Greek State – because here ELGA does not compensate, but the ministry pays Finance through the Agency’s mechanism – much more has been paid for the 2021 and 2022 fires.” He announced that “at the beginning of the week, the government committee will compensate the fires of the year 2023, as the relevant file is ready, the amount exceeds 10 million euros and also the government committee, with the recommendation of ELGA, will decide on the compensation of the loss of plant capital – not production – which will be decided in the coming days to replace perennial tree crops and other crops, which were destroyed by the extreme weather events Daniel and Ilias”.

The president of ELGA requested that the provision of the bill which provides the possibility to pay appraisers “double overtime hours, to be paid twice as much in terms of appraisal fees, as well as in the Larissa branch to be compensated with triple of the income they have from assessment fees”. Mr. Lykourentzos stated that these provisions “are fair and meet the expectations of the executives and employees of ELGA” and assured that this overtime has been done, and is not something fictitious.