The European Investment Bank, the European Union's financing arm, is providing loans totalling EUR 285 million for transport projects in Prague and Pilsen in the Czech Republic:

  • a loan of EUR 210 million for 25 years to the Government will be used by the Transport Ministry's Road and Motorway Directorate for financing a new by-pass around Pilsen on the Nürnberg-Prague motorway. This is the sixth project financed by the Bank in the Czech road sector, bringing total signatures to EUR 1030 m.
  • a second loan of EUR 75 million for 20 years to the City of Prague will help finance an extension of Prague's Metro line C; the new loan brings the total provided for this project to EUR 150 million, a first tranche of EUR 75 million having been granted in the year 2000. The project constitutes the first phase of the extension of the metro network to the north eastern regions of the City, providing substantial transport efficiency gains and reducing pollution by relieving traffic congestion in the city centre.

The loans signed with the Czech Authorities in Prague today bring to some EUR 3.3 billion the total lent by the Bank to projects in the Czech Republic. 

Commenting on the loan Mr. Roth said: 'The Pilsen by-pass is the only missing link on Czech territory of the very crucial East-West D-5 motorway which is most important for facilitating traffic between present and future EU countries. Metro Line C in Prague will help the Czech capital to cope with soaring demand for urban transport and avoid a potential shift from individual to collective transport in and around the city.'.