The European Investment Bank is lending a total of EUR 2 billion for key investments in Greece. This is the largest ever EIB loan in Greece. It provides timely support to the real economy. Through its multiplying effect, the loan will support the recovery and will accelerate transition to a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth path. It targets to the priority areas that Greece has identified as crucial for its long term development, and is in line with the European Union's strategy for Long Term growth known as EU2020. The strategy emphases on innovation, education, the digital society and the fight against unemployment.
The EUR 2 billion loan to the Hellenic Republic was signed today for the Hellenic Republic by the Minister of Finance Mr. George Papacostantinou and the Minister of Economy, Competitiveness & Shipping, Ms. Louka Katseli, and for the EIB by Mr. Plutarchos Sakellaris, Vice-President in the presence of the Deputy Minister of Economy, Competitiveness & Shipping, Mr. Stavros Arnaoutakis and the General Secretary of Investments, Mr. George Petrakos. The signature for priority investments co-financed with EU funds in the period 2007-2013 took place in Athens.
On this occasion, EIB Vice-President Plutarchos Sakellaris stated today: "The EUR 2 billion loan given to Greece today fits with the broader EIB measures taken under the European Economic Recovery Package. The investments being financed will strengthen the competitiveness of the Greek economy and enhance the effective use of the EU grant funds allocated to the country. We are building on the excellent cooperation with the Greek authorities, and joining forces with the European Commission in the areas of research, innovation and entrepreneurship as well as on investments in sustainable infrastructure and human capital. I would like to assure you that the EIB will keep its product mix and expertise available and ready to use for the benefit of Greece in the coming years".
This EIB loan will finance part of the national budget contribution to those investments. The facility will thus reduce the risk of postponing investments in key infrastructures and regional assets and is expected to assist the country's absorption rate of EU Structural Funds.
The operation is structured as a framework loan and will be used by the Greek state for investments in priority areas identified in the National Strategic Reference Framework. The investments to be financed are grouped around selected priorities of 11 comprehensive Operational Programmes (OPs) of the Hellenic Republic. The schemes implemented within these OPs are expected to contribute primarily to the achievement of the objectives in the four thematic priorities for the Greek economy in line with EU2020 strategy: investments in the productive sector, knowledge society and innovation, employment and social cohesion, and attractiveness of Greece and the regions as places to invest, work and live. They include schemes in railway, environment, energy efficiency and renewable energy, water, waste, RDI, ICT and human capital sectors. The largest single scheme under these investments, for which EUR 1 billion will be allocated, concerns the PATHEP Railway Corridor. This TEN-T priority project includes a number of modernisation works along the rail line Patras-Athens-Thessaloniki-Idomeni/Promahonas, a railway node at Acharnes, a freight complex at Thriassio and its rail link to the Neo Ikonio Container Terminal of the Port of Piraeus.
The EIB has provided similar loans to other EU countries, including Cyprus, Romania, Latvia, Lithuania and Hungary.
On this occasion the Minister of Economy, Competitiveness & Shipping, Ms Louka Katseli, and Mr Plutarchos Sakellaris, EIB Vice-President, also signed a EUR 258 million agreement for the set up of a JESSICA Holding Fund. Also present were: Ms. Tina Birbili, Minister of Environment & Climate Change, Mr. Pavlos Yeroulanos, Minister of Culture & Tourism, Mr. Stavros Arnaoutakis, Deputy Minister of Economy, Competitiveness & Shipping and the General Secretary of Investments, Mr. George Petrakos. The creation of such a holding fund will allow the deployment of EU Structural Funds in support of integrated and sustainable urban development projects. The Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas (JESSICA) is an initiative of the European Commission and EIB, supported by the Council of Europe Development Bank. The initiative caters for the need for renewal and/or regeneration of certain urban areas and is based on a perceived market failure in the urban sector or, more specifically, on the lack of investment funds to finance integrated urban renewal and regeneration projects in pursuit of more sustainable urban communities. It allows EU member States and regions to make repayable investments in projects forming part of an integrated plan for sustainable urban development. These investments, which may take the form of equity, loans and/or guarantees, are delivered to projects via Urban Development Funds. The Ministry and EIB will be working together with Greek municipalities in identifying such projects.
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About the EIB
What is the EIB?
The European Investment Bank was created by the Treaty of Rome in 1958 as the long-term lending bank of the European Union. The task of the Bank is to contribute towards the integration, balanced development and economic and social cohesion of the EU Member States. The EIB raises substantial volumes of funds on the capital markets which it lends on favorable terms to projects furthering EU policy objectives. The EIB continuously adapts its activity to developments in EU policies.
enjoys its own legal personality and financial autonomy within the EU
operates following strict banking practice and in close collaboration with the wider banking community, both when borrowing on the capital markets and when financing capital projects
Who are the shareholders?
The EIB's capital is owned by the 27 member countries of the EU. France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom each have 16.2%, followed by Spain, with just over 9%.
What types of project does it finance?
There are six financing priorities, which are laid down by the shareholders and EU mainly in the following sectors:
1. convergence and cohesion, involving the poorest regions of the EU
2. small and medium-sized enterprises
4. research, development and innovation
6. environmental protection
Key figures: the EIB in 2009
Total financing operations: EUR 79 billion (+37%, compared with 58 billion in 2008) of which:
EU countries: EUR 71 billion
Accession countries: EUR 4.3 billion
Neighbourhood and specific Mandates: EUR 3.7 billion
Total raised by issuing bonds on the international markets in 2009: EUR 79.4 billion EUR 59.5 billion in 2008) via 262 transactions (247 in 2008).
Greece: the EIB in 2009
In 2009 the EIB provided a total of EUR 1.6 billion up 33% compared to EUR 1.2 billion in 2008; of this amount, more than EUR 1 billion was to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and small and medium infrastructure investments to be carried out by private or public bodies, including the local authorities, as well as beneficiaries of any size. Financing was for investments in the fields of transport, industry, tourism, services, knowledge economy, energy, environmental protection and urban development. The loan to the Hellenic Fire Services was a catalyst for financing a new phase for Public Private Partnerships in sectors other than transport in Greece, while significant progress has been made on the implementation of the JEREMIE initiative.
The Operational Programmes (OPs) of the Hellenic Republic
Management, monitoring and control system
Sectoral OPs OP Environment and Sustainable
Development OP Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship OP Digital Convergence
OP Improvement of Accessibility
OP Development of Human Resources
OP Education and Lifelong Learning
OP Macedonia-Thrace OP Western Greece – Peloponnese – Ionian Islands
OP Crete & Aegean Islands OP Thessaly- Central Greece–Epirus
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