The European Investment Bank on 23 January agreed to continue support for new priority investment across Greece intended to enhance energy efficiency and tackle climate change, improve small business competitiveness, accelerate research and innovation, and support health, education, culture and urban regeneration initiatives across Greece.

“The European Investment Bank is pleased to support the nationwide programme with today’s signature of a new 150 million euro loan that will unlock new founding for the latest group of projects, almost one-fifth of which are climate related,” said European Investment Bank Vice President Andrew McDowell, who responsible for lending operations in Greece. During the Athens Energy Dialogues on 23 January, McDowell also reiterated the bank’s support for the government of Greece in reaching its climate policy goals.

According to the EIB, the €18.6 billion investment programme under the Partnership Agreement 2014-2020 has been successfully supporting small and medium sized priority schemes across Greece since 2014 and ensuring that high-impact projects essential for sustainable development and economic recovery are not delayed.

The latest European Investment Bank loan for priority investment in Greece was signed at the Ministry of Finance in Athens by McDowell, Christos Staikouras, Minister of Finance and Governor of the European Investment Bank and Yannis Tsakiris, Deputy Minister of Development and Investments. Adonis Georgiadis, Minister of Development and Investments, and Kostas Karamanlis, Minister of Infrastructure and Transport were also present.

According to the EIB, these investments are needed to reinforce the country’s competitiveness, support businesses so they can create jobs and grow, and to secure Greece’s position in attracting foreign investments. The new support, agreed upon today with the European Investment Bank, is the continuation of successful investments in projects that transform the country and demonstrate the EIB’s willingness to support Greece in the long-run.

“Without the excellent cooperation between Greece and the EIB, the implementation of the 18.6-billion-euro investment programme would not have been possible and many projects in the country would not have access to the European Structural and Investment Funds,” Staikouras said.

For his part, Tsakiris reminded that he EIB’s support for the national contribution to the NSRF programme already started the previous 2008-2014 programming period, specifically in 2010. “We are continuing this cooperation in the current programming period, which shows the trust of EIB in the growth potential of the country. The Ministry of Development and Investments as coordinator in the area of development, investments and financing, will play an even more important role towards this direction.” Yannis Deputy Minister of Development and Investments,” he said.

According to the EIB, the €150 million loan agreement signed on 23 January represents the latest EIB support for the Greek Partnership Agreement. The EIB is providing a total of €1.7 billion for the Greek national contribution to the investment initiative that will be used alongside European Structural and Investment Funds.

Boosting climate action

The investment programme is expected to enable new smart energy, energy efficiency, and renewable energy projects across Greece and improve water and waste management. The initiative is expected enable significant support for climate action by reducing carbon emissions and helping projects adapt to a changing and more extreme climate.

In recent years the investment programme has supported small scale investment in schools, hospitals and health centres across Greece as well as backing regeneration and economic development in communities across Greece.

The new EIB loan agreed on 23 January will enable the investment programme to expand support for SMEs across Greece, including helping companies to develop new markets and improve competitiveness. The scheme is also helping to improve skills and capacity building in businesses.