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The European Investment Bank (EIB) will provide EUR 80 million to finance electricity production on eighteen Greek islands in the North and East Aegean, Dodecanese, Cyclades, and the Diapontia island complex.

EIB President Werner Hoyer and Arthouros Zervos, CEO of Public Power Corporation S.A. (PPC) signed the finance agreement today at a public ceremony in Athens , in the presence of Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, Yiannis Maniatis. EIB Vice President, Wilhelm Molterer, who also attended the ceremony, presented plans for enhanced technical assistance in Greece, through strengthening and extension of the JASPERS (Joint Assistance to Support Projects in European Regions) initiative.

EIB President Werner Hoyer said: “We are continuing our strong support in key sectors for growth and jobs in Greece through lending, blending and advising. We support investment to improve the people’s living and economic conditions with the upgrading of the electricity production on several non-interconnected Greek islands. This is a further step to ensuring security of electricity supply of the Greek islands, following the EUR 65 million agreement we signed in September to support the connection of the main Cycladic islands with the mainland interconnected system of Greece”.

EIB Vice President Wilhelm Molterer added: “Our support to the country goes beyond lending. As non-financial support, EIB is since some years offering technical assistance services in Greece in a variety of areas through experts detached in the Greek administration.  Since 2013, upon the request of the Greek Government, JASPERS started providing technical assistance to projects in a variety of key sectors. All these projects once off the ground will create jobs and kick-off growth”.

The annual JASPERS stakeholders meeting took place today in Athens. JASPERS is a joint initiative of the European Investment Bank, the European Commission and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) created in 2005  to  provide technical assistance to the Authorities managing EU Structural Funds in the EU Member States that joined the Union after 2004 (Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia). Greece, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia are also eligible to JASPERS’ assistance. More than 100 high-level delegates representing JASPERS stakeholders from all JASPERS beneficiaries participated in the meeting. Discussion focused on the 2014-2020 programming period of the Structural Funds and on widening JASPERS’ advisory role, both geographically and in scope. The EC has proposed that JASPERS should act as independent quality reviewer of projects before they are submitted to the European Commission for grant financing from the ESIF (European Structural and Investment Funds).  This activity will be extended to all EU Member States who are eligible to ESIF.

JASPERS has been active in Greece since January 2013, supporting projects co-financed by the European Structural Funds in key sectors of the Greek economy. In full coordination and collaboration with the Greek authorities, in 2014, the first full year of JASPERS support for Greece, three major projects totaling EUR 425 million have been approved, including a new ticketing system for the Athens Metro already in operation.