The implementation of a cooperation agreement between the European Investment Bank and the Hellenic Republic, which involves the EIB managing up to €5 billion of Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) investments in Greece, was confirmed recently in Athens during a meeting between Alternate Finance Minister Theodoros Skylakakis and EIB Vice-President for Greece Christian Kettel Thomsen.

The cooperation will begin with the disbursement of €500 million of RRF financing, which will be managed by the bank and is expected to lead to private investments of more than €1 billion as part of Greece’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan, known as “Greece 2.0”.

Greece is expected to receive a total of around €31 billion from the European Union in the form of grants and loans as part of the RRF, designed to help member states recover from the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

New investments will support mainly climate action, green energy transition and digital transformation, alongside other sectors that reflect social and economic priorities in Greece.

The EIB may also provide technical assistance in assessing investment projects that will be financed via the RRF and the EIB.

“I would like to thank the EIB for its constant and dynamic presence in our country and especially for its contribution in promoting investment in Greece via the Recovery and Resilience Facility,” said Alternate Finance Minister Theodoros Skylakakis after the meeting in Athens on February 8.

Vice-President Christian Kettel Thomsen said: “This agreement marks the first, official cooperation between the EIB and a national partner to implement the Recovery and Resilience Plan. The Investment Team for Greece will be able to work with the Greek authorities to make best use of the Recovery and Resilience Facility to identify potential public sector projects, corporate investments, SME financing schemes and targeted advisory initiatives that will bring financing to Greek businesses, but also investments that will improve the daily lives of Greek citizens.”

EIB technical, financial and environmental experts from the Investment Team for Greece and Cyprus will identify high-impact projects, priority sectors and effective financial structures to ensure best use of new European grant and loan support for Greece.

The EIB and the Hellenic Republic signed in April 2021 in Athens a Memorandum of Understanding for the bank to help manage up to €5 billion of Greece’s RRF funding until 2026. It was the first EIB cooperation to implement investment backed by the Recovery and Resilience Facility agreed anywhere in Europe.

In September 2021, the parties entered into a Funding Agreement establishing the Recovery and Resilience Facility – Financial Instrument for Greece (RRF Fund), marking the EIB’s largest ever bilateral mandate.

Record engagement in 2021

Last year new business investments and corporate innovation, urban renewal, energy transition and digitalisation of public services benefited from the European Investment Bank Group’s largest ever engagement Greece. In 2021, support for high-impact private and public investments by the European Investment Bank and European Investment Fund totalled €4.85 billion, the largest in 59 years of operations in the country.

EIB Group financing in Greece represented 2.7% of national GDP, the largest engagement in any country worldwide.

Greece was also a leading beneficiary of the European Guarantee Fund, an initiative the EIB Group and EU member states launched to support businesses struggling due to challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, access to financing by businesses across Greece will be strengthened by €2.7 billion of guarantees provided by the European Investment Bank and European Investment Fund through EGF.