The European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Union's long-term financing institution, is providing EUR 500 million for the construction of new, as well as the upgrading of existing infrastructures and facilities related to the Athens 2004 Olympics. The schemes are located in Athens and other municipalities throughout Greece. The Deputy Minister of National Economy Mr Ch.Pachtas acting on behalf of the Hellenic Republic signed the financing agreements today in Athens.

The loan is the first tranche of a larger facility of EUR 1 500 million approved by the EIB earlier this month, which will be made available in tranches over the construction period of the project to the Hellenic Republic, through the Ministry of Economy and Finance, and to the Olympic Real Estate S.A., a limited company established in 2002, wholly owned by the Greek State, under the joint supervision of the Ministries of Economy and Finance and Culture. Its statutory objectives include the post-Olympic Games administration, management and exploitation of selected physical assets with post-games commercial use, to be constructed under the Olympic Works programme. The allocation of the amounts of the overall facility to the two borrowers will be determined in due course.

This is a follow up EIB loan operation in support of the Athens 2004 Olympics. A EUR 100 million loan has been provided in November 2001 for the construction of two new tramway lines of a total of 22.7 km in Athens (line T1 linking the Athens centre (Zappio) with the South coast of Athens (Neo Faliro), and line T2 connecting Neo Faliro to the southern suburb of Glyfada, including also the supply of 35 tram cars).

The European Investment Bank (EIB), the financing institution of the European Union (EU) was created in 1958 by the Treaty of Rome. Owned by the EU's Member States, EIB's mission is to further the political objectives of the EU by providing long-term finance for specific capital investment projects. The task of identifying and appraising projects to be financed is entrusted to the Bank. Within the EU, where the largest part of its lending takes place, the EIB contributes primarily towards building a closer-knit Europe, particularly in terms of economic integration and greater social cohesion.

Outside the EU, the Bank also makes significant amounts available under technical cooperation and development aid policies established by the EU in favor of non EU-member countries.

In 2002 EIB financing in Greece will close at EUR 1.1 billion, including loans for the motorways Egnatia, Thessaloniki Orbital and ESSI, as well as electricity distribution and transport in Greece.

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