oPt

Greece helps Palestinian Authority cover arrears to private sector for vehicles

The Government of Greece is contributing €150,000 to help the Palestinian Authority (PA) settle bills due to the private sector in the field of security and rule of law. Through this assistance, Greece is providing critical support to the private sector and to the PA, in a bid to help sustain the economy and ease the ongoing difficult fiscal situation faced by the PA.

The contribution, channelled through the European mechanism for support to the Palestinians, PEGASE[1], covers arrears relating to the purchase of vehicles for the use of the Palestinian Civil police.

This represents the second disbursement from an overall contribution of €500,000 from the Government of Greece to support the PA settle bills due to the private sector in the field of security and rule of law. West Bank businesses that provide supplies for the Civil Police, the Civil Defence and the Ministry of Interior will benefit directly from this cash injection. The first contribution of €200,000, disbursed in October 2009, covered arrears for the purchase of Civil Police vehicles and uniforms.

Speaking about the contribution, the Greek Consul-General Mr Sotorious Athanassiou said: "Greece is strongly committed to supporting the Palestinian Authority in its efforts to build strong and viable institutions. In this respect, the Security and Rule of Law sector is of particular importance, which is the reason of our country's contribution through the EU PEGASE mechanism. The Greek contribution of €150,000 to cover arrears related to the purchase of civil police vehicles aims at providing the Palestinian Civil Police with the adequate means in order to accomplish its crucial task."

The arrears repayment scheme is one of a number of initiatives by the European Union, channelled through its dedicated PEGASE mechanism, to support the PA ensure the continuous provision of essential public services to its citizens. In addition to helping the PA meet a substantial proportion of its running costs, European funds support major reform and development programmes in key ministries, to help prepare the PA for statehood in line with the plan proposed in August 2009 by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

For further information in Arabic and English on the EU's assistance to the occupied Palestinian territory (including through PEGASE) please visit: www.delwbg.ec.europa.eu

[1] Mécanisme Palestino-Européen de Gestion de l'Aide Socio-Economique (PEGASE)

Contact:

Shadi Othman, Press Office, European Commission Technical Assistance Office, 02-5415888

and

Greek Consulate

31 Rachel Imenou St,

Katamon, Jerusalem

Telephone: 02-5619583