The European Investment Bank (EIB) is lending EUR 80 million to the City of Prague for repairs to the metro network, which was severely damaged by the August 2002 floods. The funds will part-finance the rehabilitation of 17 metro stations damaged by the floods and about 20 km of tunnels. Works financed by the EIB range from the cleaning up of stations and tunnels to the repair or replacement of power supply, safety and communication equipment as well as escalators. The underground is expected to be fully operational again by the end of March 2003, after seven months of works.
The loan to the City of Prague is independent of third party guarantees. It is one of the first loans under the Bank's new lending policy, which aligns lending to sub-sovereign government entities in the candidate countries to the policy applied in the EU member states.
The loan to the City of Prague brings to EUR 3.8 billion the total lent by the EIB to Czech projects since 1993. As in other new EU entrants, the lion's share of EIB's lending in the Czech Republic went to transport projects, mainly rail, road, motorways and urban traffic schemes. Beside the development of Trans-European Networks corridors, urgent repairs to transport infrastructure following earlier floods in the Czech Republic absorbed substantial amounts of EIB funds. In addition, environmental, energy, industry, telecommunications as well as health and education schemes were financed by the Bank.