EIB funds flow to viable SME projects in Greece
From water heater manufacturing to wine production the EIB is supporting Greek SMEs through partner banks in a particularly challenging economic context.
Heart surgeon Dimitrios Vichos has led a cardiology consulting office in Athens for the past 20 years. A EUR 190 000 EIB partner bank loan has helped him to create a private polyclinic, Viokitarriki Prognossi Imittou and purchase X-ray and mammography equipment as well as panoramic, cephalometric and ultrasound systems. His customer base and the services he provides have significantly expanded.
Last year’s turnover reached EUR 800 000. This year, the business revenue is expected to peak at EUR 1m.
Says Dimitrios: “Thanks to the loan, we have been able to hire 15 people, from cardiologists to administrative employees, despite the downturn that severely affects our country.” He adds “I am very grateful to the EIB partner bank which has supported my polyclinic and my country's economy in its capacity as intermediary, and also to the EIB, which provided the funds”.
Other SMEs benefited from EIB support through partner banks Eurobank, Piraeus Bank and Alpha Bank to which the EIB provided total loans of EUR 290 million.
Thanks to a EUR 300 000 loan, Ebil SA, a 40 year old company based in Katerini, near Thessaloniki and employing 33 people, was able to purchase raw materials and electrical equipment, such as thermostats. Ebil started manufacturing electrical water heaters in 1976 and has been engaged in the production of high efficiency “selective” solar panels. Ebil SA is currently the only company in Greece that manufactures all the components of a solar water heater on the same premises.
Further south, in central Greece, a EUR 150 000 loan helped a 55 year-old family-owned viniculture business on the slopes of Mount Kithaironas to purchase equipment for a second wine production line and 12 acres of vineyard to increase production (see picture).
With the second production line, the workforce went from 8 to 20 employees and turnover increased by 50%.
Last year, the EIB was the only non-Greek lender to Greece apart from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund (collectively known as the “TROIKA”). We played a crucial role by channeling liquidity to the real economy, signing EUR 705 million of new loans, including EUR 155 million under the JESSICA initiative, while disbursements totalled EUR 909 million for important sectors such as SMEs, transport, energy and education.