The European Investment Bank, the European Union's long-term financing institution, has concluded a EUR 38 million loan with the Turkish Government for investment to improve the environment in the city of Tarsus, Eastern Turkey.

The finance is for investment, costing a total EUR 82 million, to improve waste-water facilities being carried out by the Municipality of Tarsus. The project is a Turkish government priority. The EIB's finance is being made available within the framework of the European-Mediterranean Partnership mandate. The city, with some 200 000 inhabitants, is located 15 km up-stream on the River Berdan on the eastern Turkish Mediterranean coast.

Works, to be completed by 2003, include the rehabilitation and extension of the sewer network together with construction of a stormwater network, a biological wastewater treatment facility and water supply measures. The project will meet increasing demand in the Tarsus urban area, improving connections to the sewerage network. Currently only about half the city's population is linked to the network. The investment will have a major environmental impact by cutting back on pollution in the Berdan river basin and helping to reduce disease and hygiene problems and flood damage.

This financing will involve an interest subsidy of 3 % granted through the EC Meda budget. An amount of EUR 9.55 million has been set aside for that purpose.

This project will be implemented in close cooperation between the German Government and the EU Institutions. The German Government, through KFW, will contribute with EUR 19,4 million to the financing of the project, while EU will support the project with the EIB loan (EUR 38 million) and the EU grant (EUR 9.55 million).

The EIB, established in 1958 by the Treaty of Rome, finances capital investment projects which further the European Union (EU) policy objectives. It also participates in the implementation of the EU's co-operation policy towards third countries. The EIB is a lead player in implementing the European Union's "Euro-Mediterranean Partnership" under which the Bank has a mandate for the period 1997-2000 to provide up to EUR 2 310 million of funding for projects in the 12 non-EU Mediterranean countries which have signed cooperation and/or association agreements with the EU. Turkey is eligible to apply for EIB financing from this facility. Since 1995, the EIB has contributed EUR 478.50 million towards projects of key importance for the Turkish economy. The EIB has also promoted SMEs through global loans to commercial banks.

1 euro = 0.705455 GBP, 400.814 TRL.