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The European Investment Bank (EIB) and İller Bankasi A.Ş. (İlbank) signed today an agreement of EUR 250 million for financing municipal investment schemes in the public transport, water and waste sectors throughout Turkey.

The agreement was signed today in a public ceremony in Istanbul in the presence of Mr. İdris Güllüce, Minister of Environment and Urbanization of the Republic of Turkey, Mr. Ahmet Genç, Deputy Undersecretary at the Undersecretariat of Treasury, Mr. Fuat Gedik, Chairman of the Board of Directors at İlbank, Mr. Mehmet Turgut Dedeoğlu, Director General of İlbank and Mr. Pim van Ballekom, Vice-President at the EIB.

EIB Vice President Pim van Ballekom stated on the occasion: “Financing green municipal projects is a priority for the EU bank. Environmental investment provides better living conditions for present and next generations, while assuring sustainable development, driving growth and creating high-value jobs. I am delighted to renew our cooperation and sign a second facility with our partner İlbank today, and expand the area of our cooperation to include also urban transport, as a means to continue supporting Turkey’s strategic environmental policy”.

The EIB funds will finance investment schemes involving İlbank as intermediary, who will provide both financial and technical services to municipalities. The operation is an important instrument in advancing Turkey’s adherence to the environmental standards and policies of the European Union. In this context, the EIB as the EU Bank has in cooperation with İlbank earmarked some grants from the Instrument for Pre-Accession 2 funded by the European Union. The technical assistance to start from 2016 onwards is expected, inter alia, to support capacity building and awareness raising at municipal level.

Thanks to the competitive EIB funding terms and a long loan tenor, local authorities in Turkey will benefit from attractive financing costs for their projects. This in turn will increase their financial flexibility and investment capacity to support green municipal investments and to address strong urbanisation pressures having arisen during recent years in Turkey.

The EIB entered into a strategic partnership with İlbank in 2010, with a Memorandum of Understanding as a formal expression of cooperation and a first EUR 150 million loan in 2012 for municipal projects in the fields of water and waste treatment.