The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Spain signed a framework agreement under which the Bank will provide up to EUR 10 billion to fund the investment programme in the period 2007-2013.

The agreement was signed today in Madrid by Philippe Maystadt, President of the EIB, Isabel Martín Castellá, Vice-president of the EIB, Magdalena Alvarez Arza, Minister of Public Works and Transport, Antonio González Marín, President of ADIF, Manuel Azuaga Moreno, President of AENA, Dimas Sañudo Aja, President of FEVE, Mariano Navas Gutiérrez, President of Puertos del Estado, José Salgueiro Carmona, President of RENFE Operadora, and Josefina Cruz Villalón, President of SEITT.

The EIB will support investment in the context of Spain's Transport and Infrastructure Strategic Plan (PEIT) covering the period 2005-2020. Total investment in the period 2005-2020 is estimated at EUR 249 billion. The net borrowing required will amount to approximately EUR 100 billion. Cooperation between the EIB and Ministerio de Fomento (Ministry of Public Works and Transport) will also facilitate a significant involvement and contribution of investors from the private sector.

The Ministerio de Fomento acting through its public entities and companies will carry out the Investment Programme 2007-2013, encompassing priorities both for Spain and for the European Union.

Public entities ADIF, AENA, FEVE, PUERTOS DEL ESTADO, RENFE OPERADORA, and the state company SEITT are responsible for railways infrastructure, commercial air transport, railway transport, general interest ports infrastructure, railways transport operation, and road and railways infrastructure, respectively.

The financing from the EIB will be allocated taking into account the requirements that each entity may have during the period 2007 - 2013. Particular attention will be given to strategic projects in line with EU policy priorities.

The granting of loans will be subject to a positive outcome of the Bank's technical, environmental, economic and financial appraisal of each project, and to the specific approval by the Bank's management and governing bodies on an individual project-by-project basis.

During the first semester of 2006, EIB lending activity in Spain has grown steadily to more than EUR 4 billion. In 2005 Spain was the main beneficiary of the EIB lending at EUR 7.6 billion. Finance provided by EU policy objectives marked a leading contribution to priorities, namely: Regional Development, TransEuropean Networks; and Environment. Finance for the knowledge-based economy under the Lisbon strategy was also notable. In the 20 years since Spain joined the EU, EIB finance was more than EUR 70 billion.