>@Philip Pangalos/EIB

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to provide EUR 50 million to support financing by Pancretan Cooperative Bank of eligible projects undertaken by small and medium sized enterprises and midcaps in Greece.

This agreement is under the programme “Loans for SMEs and MidCaps” and will allow Pancretan to support projects implemented by small and medium sized enterprises and midcaps through investment loans and liquidity in the form of working capital.

“I am very pleased to be in Athens today to further extend the EIB’s ambitious new credit line for SMEs and Midcaps, which are a vital pillar of the Greek economy,” said Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank Vice-President responsible for lending in Greece.

In December 2016, the EIB launched a new credit line of up to EUR 1bn to Greek banks and signed agreements with the four systemic banks (Alpha Bank, Eurobank, National Bank of Greece and Piraeus Bank) for a total amount of EUR 400 million, equally split between them. Today’s signature with Pancretan Cooperative Bank is under this same facility.

“The European Investment Bank remains committed to supporting private sector growth and the real economy, as well as continuing to invest in young people. These are among the principal objectives of the EU Bank’s engagement in Greece. Pancretan plays a key role in the Greek provinces, especially on the island of Crete, and our combined efforts will help more companies across the country to expand their business activity and create much needed quality new jobs, especially for talented young people who represent the country’s future,” EIB Vice President Taylor added.

Nikos Myrtakis, Vice President of Pancretan Cooperative Bank, said:

“2017 marks 10 years of successful cooperation between Pancretan Bank and the European Investment Bank. During this period, both banks countersigned agreements totaling almost EUR 250 million, an amount which significantly contributed to the creation and maintenance of viable SMEs and job positions. It is worthwhile mentioning that through the last two agreements totaling EUR 70 million, 500 new job positions were created and more than 3,000 were retained. It is also important to stress that it is a great honor to us, that EIB acknowledges the key role of Pancretan Bank in the Greek provinces, especially on the island of Crete.”  

“Through the new agreement of EUR 50 million, Pancretan Bank will be able to support projects of SMEs and midcaps, through investment loans and provision of working capital.  Thus, it is anticipated that enterprises belonging to growing sectors of the economy like tourism, energy, the primary sector, exports, but also those which are currently facing challenges accessing financing in the areas of trade and manufacturing, will be actively supported. In addition it is expected that new job opportunities will arise and existing job positions will be retained,” he added. 

The agreement incorporates EIB’s “Jobs for Youth” initiative, offering additional financial advantages to enterprises that promote youth employment. The agreement between Pancretan and the European Investment Bank was achieved in the right timing to contribute actively and decisively to the strengthening of Greek entrepreneurs, the creation of sustainable development and the enhancement of youth employment. This agreement is part of Pancretan’s strategic planning aimed at supporting the return to sustainable growth for the Greek economy.

The EIB launched the "Jobs for Youth" initiative, the Bank’s first ever dedicated lending programme to specifically support young people, in July 2013. Complementing youth employment policies at European and national levels, the programme finances vocational training, student and apprentice mobility, and aims to address the shortage of jobs for young people in smaller companies.

Pancretan will use the new EUR 50 million EIB loan to lend to SMEs and MidCaps in the industries, tourism, agriculture and services sector. These firms will benefit from more competitive interest rates and be able to strengthen their response to tackling high-levels of unemployment amongst young people in Greece.