Microcredit (a separate term from the concept of microfinance) is a modern form of financing which is intended to strengthen entrepreneurship. It enables, even poor people to obtain microloans without requiring stringent guarantees (such as liens on their property). The Greek banks are unable to give such microloans, firstly because of the high risk of lending to vulnerable groups and the inability to provide non-financial support to micro-borrowers and, secondly, because of their lack of liquidity, thus creating a gap in the financing of business amounting to EUR 145.6 million and leading Greek entrepreneurship, and by extension the Greek economy, to a more difficult situation than the present one.

1. What initiatives will the Commission take to reopen the legislative process for the production of a Union Act (directive/regulation) to establish specific provisions regulating and permitting the granting of microloans by both financial institutions and other businesses?

2. Which undertakings will be able to give microloans, in addition to the financial institutions, what institutional safeguards will govern their operation and within which framework?

3. What actions will the Commission take to address the coverage of the financial gap?