The European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Union's long-term financing institution, has granted the Cabildo Insular de Gran Canaria a EUR 60 million loan for the construction and rehabilitation of urban infrastructure on the island of Gran Canaria. This is the EIB's first operation on the island.

The funds will serve to finance three major components of the Cabildo Insular de Gran Canaria's urban infrastructure investment programme for 2000-2004:

  • priority urban infrastructure schemes in the 21 municipalities included in the multiannual "Island Works and Services Plan" and "Provincial Council and Municipalities Joint Action Plan";
  • construction of the infrastructure for the new Sports City in the island's capital, Las Palmas;
  • rehabilitation and upgrading of the Trade Fair facilities in that city.

The project will assist the economic development of the island of Gran Canaria while improving the urban environment and safeguarding the quality of life of the populations concerned.

The EIB was founded in 1958 under the Treaty of Rome, which created the European Economic Community, with the aim of fostering enhanced integration, balanced development and economic and social cohesion in the Member States by providing long-term financing for capital investment furthering EU objectives. Specifically, the EIB supports viable projects promoting: development of the Union's less favoured regions; construction of trans-European transport, telecoms and energy networks; the international competitiveness and integration of Europe's industry, especially SMEs; environmental protection and improvement; security of the Union's energy supply; health and education. Within certain limits, the EIB also provides financing outside the Union in support of the EU's policy of cooperation with third countries.

In 2001, the EIB signed loans in Spain totalling EUR 4 559 million, including some EUR 2 700 million for infrastructure, energy and communications projects.