Transformational investment totalling EUR 190 million in transport, waste, energy efficiency, culture and urban rehabilitation schemes across Athens will be backed by a new EUR 55 million European Investment Bank agreed earlier today. The citywide investment initiative will create jobs, unlock urban regeneration and ensure that climate risks can be better managed in the Greek capital in the years ahead.
Finance contracts for the European Investment Bank loan were formally agreed by Mayor of Athens George Kaminis, European Investment Bank President Werner Hoyer and Vice President responsible for lending in Greece Jonathan Taylor during a working visit to the EIB headquarters in Luxembourg.
“As the largest urban area in Greece and one of the most populated regions of Europe Athens faces diverse investment needs. This new financing agreement with the European Investment Bank will support priority projects that include upgrading historic public buildings, improving education and health facilities and addressing challenges of a changing climate. Technical experience gained from working with cities around the world will maximise the impact of new investment and ensure benefits for future generations living in this city.” said George Kaminis, Mayor of Athens.
“Continued investment by world cities such as Athens is crucial to cater for daily needs, changing social and economic priorities and future generations. The European Investment Bank, as the EU Bank, is pleased to strengthen the successful partnership with the City of Athens that has included improving education, health and environmental protection. We look forward to working closely with the City of Athens and other municipalities across Greece to unlock further transformational investment that improves lives and strengthens economic activity in the years ahead.” said Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank Vice President.
Strengthening long-term investment across Athens
The new EIB loan will support a number of small scale priority projects across the city that are included in the Municipality of Athens 2017-2020 investment plan. This includes local initiatives to reduce energy use, improve local transport infrastructure and tourism services, enhance waste management and upgrade cultural services and public spaces.
Specific projects expected to benefit from new investment under the EIB backed programme included restoration of listed school buildings, rehabilitation of an open-air cinema and nursery school and improving energy efficiency in public buildings to reduce energy costs.
A number of projects that address the specific needs of asylum seekers and refugees are also expected to be supported by the investment initiative.
Unlocking environmental and maritime related investment
Reflecting specific environmental challenges in the city new investment in improving green and water related infrastructure totalling EUR 5 million will be supported under the new financing programme. This will be backed by the Natural Capital Financing Facility.
The new initiative will support the Municipality of Athens Resilience Strategy for 2030 and implementation of priority local investment initiatives will be strengthened by a EUR 1 million dedicated technical assistance programme to share experience of similar projects elsewhere in Europe and improve project preparation.
European Structural and Investment Funds will also provide additional grant financing.
Building on success of previous EIB support for local investment in Greece
This new initiative represents the second support for local investment in Athens by the European Investment Bank. In 2007 the EIB agreed to provide EUR 50 million to support EUR 105 million of overall investment in 191 different schemes across the city.
In 2017 the EIB agreed to support investment to improve urban transport, upgrade public services and rehabilitate urban infrastructure in Thessaloniki.
Since 2000 the European Investment Bank has provided EUR 2.3 billion for urban investment across Greece in cooperation with local and national authorities.
Strengthened EIB support for urban investment
Over the last decade the European Investment Bank has provided more than EUR 30 billion to support urban investment across Europe. This has included support for new urban investment in Paris, London, Berlin, Lisbon, Warsaw, Vienna and Nicosia.
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