During a visit to Budapest today, Mr. Wolfgang Roth, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) signed five loans totalling EUR 395 million for transport and environmental projects in Hungary, respectively with the Minister of Finance, Mr Csaba László, and the Mayor of Budapest, Mr.Gábor Demszky:

  • three loans totalling EUR 195 million, to the Ministry of Finance, are for a number of road and railroad rehabilitation works throughout Hungary, as well as environmental schemes, including several sewerage networks and water treatment facilities as well as solid waste disposal facilities. The European Commission is co-financing these projects with ISPA funds.
  • the City of Budapest is receiving a EUR 125 million loan for the rehabilitation of its underground Metro Line 2 and EUR 75 million for financing the second phase of the purchase of 40 tramcars. The loans are part of a EUR 370 million facility approved by EIB's Board of Directors for transport, health, education and urban renewal schemes in Budapest and follow a first EUR 110 million for environmental and infrastructures granted by the Bank in 1998

Commenting on EIB activities in Hungary, Vice-President Roth said: 'The loans signed today bring total EIB lending in Hungary this year to EUR 515 million. Since 1989, when we started lending in Hungary, the EIB has provided a total of EUR 2.64 billion. During the current year, EIB's Board of Directors has already approved more than EUR 1 billion for new projects in Hungary. This means that during the time leading up to accession, EIB's annual lending to Hungarian projects may well reach EUR 1 billion.'