The European Investment Bank (EIB) is supporting the Italian Government's efforts to prevent the damage caused by hydrogeological instability. The Ministry of Economy and Finance will receive EIB financing to the tune of EUR 800 million, of which the first tranche of EUR 400 million was made available today. This loan will support some 150 programmes to improve the country’s safety compliance under the authority of the Environment Ministry, which in the coming days will sign with the EIB the project agreement for monitoring the progress of operations under the Italian Government's “National Plan to Prevent and Combat Hydrogeological Risk”.

Specifically, the operations will involve building or strengthening the banks of rivers that are at risk of overflowing, rechannelling waterways and canal links, developing retention basins beside rivers and streams and preventing coastal erosion and landslides. The EUR 800 million approved will cover around 50% of the total cost of the projects planned by 2022 under the aforementioned National Plan.

With this operation, the Italian Republic can benefit from the favourable lending terms of the EIB, which – thanks to the strength of its capital base – issues bonds on the international markets that are rated AAA by the leading rating agencies. This financing operation will enable the Treasury to make savings in terms of interest payments. The second tranche of the financing operation will be disbursed in the early months of 2018.