By mid-2012 the EIB had lent a total of EUR 126bn to projects in Spain since it began operations in the country in 1981. New loans worth EUR 9bn were provided in 2011 alone, making Spain the largest recipient of our support in the EU for the eighth consecutive year.
Economic-and-social-cohesion related projects accounted for half of all loans last year with trans-European transport and energy networks receiving EUR 2.2bn. Innovation and the knowledge economy projects benefited from EUR 1.4bn, with a similar amount lent to small and medium sized enterprises via our network of partner banks. Below is a sample of recent projects we have supported.
In 2012, we have already invested more than EUR 5.5bn in Spain including support for SMEs through financial intermediaries. In the last three years almost 49 000 SMEs have benefited from our support in the country.
Ingeteam is a medium sized company producing electrical equipment used in the generation of electricity from renewables. We have supported this Basque-country firm with a EUR 45m loan to support its research, development and innovation work.
Forest fires have an immediate negative impact on the environment and also hinder efforts to mitigate climate change. Thus we have lent EUR 100m to a public body in Castilla La Mancha to help strengthen fire fighting and prevention activities.
The EIB Group has stepped up its level of precaution at its headquarters in Luxembourg and in its external offices. All staff will telework as of 16 March. A small number of staff whose physical presence on EIB premises is indispensable will continue to be present on the EIB campus. The decision aims to protect the health of employees and ensure the continuity of the EIB Group’s activity.
On Wednesday the EIB identified its first case of one staff member who tested positive for corona virus.
As a precautionary measure, the EIB decided not to hold the meeting of its Board of Directors planned for Thursday 12 March in person. Decisions on the Board’s agenda will be taken by written procedure. The Bank has put in place measures to prevent disruption to its governance or operation approval schedule.
On Monday 2 March, the former President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, visited the EIB in Luxembourg on a joint invitation from the Bank, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and the Court of Auditors.