Austrian Vice-Chancellor Michael Spindelegger in Luxembourg for talks: “EIB finances important projects for growth”

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Austrian Vice-Chancellor Michael Spindelegger in Luxembourg for talks: “EIB finances important projects for growth”

  •  Release date: 12 February 2014
  •  Reference: 2014-028-EN

Austria’s Vice-Chancellor and Minister of Finance, Michael Spindelegger, and President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), Werner Hoyer, met yesterday at the Bank’s headquarters in Luxemburg for discussions centred on the Bank’s efforts to promote growth and employment in Europe. In an additional meeting with EIB Vice-President Wilhelm Molterer, the high level of EIB activity in Austria and joint action in the Central and Eastern European Countries were addressed.

President Hoyer highlighted the considerable expansion of EIB operations last year as well as the broad range of EIB financing facilities. The sharp rise in lending in comparison with the previous year showed that the EIB had not only reacted swiftly and effectively, but that it also constantly reviews its instruments, adapting and renewing them in accordance with changing requirements. The largest increase was registered for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). “We achieved a new record level in our support for SMEs, which is currently our largest single priority. Our dedication to this sector will continue over the next few years.”

During his meeting with EIB Vice-President Molterer, Michael Spindelegger commented on the Bank’s activities in Austria, “Cooperation between Austria and the EIB is at a particularly high level. In 2013, the EIB’s commitments in Austria increased significantly. For example, the Bank provided financing for the expansion of the Westbahn railway, for a wind energy initiative and for the promotion of SMEs. The EIB is therefore making an essential contribution to the financing of sustainable growth-oriented projects.”

Wilhelm Molterer emphasised the wide sectoral coverage of the EIB's operations in Austria. In addition to the focus on SMEs, priority was also given to key transport and energy infrastructure projects and also research, development and innovation schemes. “The projects in Austria clearly reflect the EIB’s priorities. They are geared towards innovation and, at the same time, are fully consistent with the objective of sustainable growth. Moreover, our geographically widespread cooperation with Austrian banks enables us to provide made-to-measure financing to small and medium-sized businesses."

Further topics discussed included access to financing in the Central and Eastern European Countries and the role of the European Investment Fund (EIF), the EIB Group's specialist arm providing risk financing solutions.

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