After a year of record-high funding to Greece, the European Investment Bank is planning and already implementing its next steps in the country in cooperation with the Greek state, banks and enterprises.
“While the size of the EIB financing last year reached a historic record amount of 2.8 billion euros, the scope and variety of the projects have equally impressed me since I assumed responsibility for Greece last September,” EIB Vice President Christian Kettel Thomsen said in an interview with the Athens-Macedonian News Agency published on Wednesday.
“The excellent cooperation between the Greek authorities, our public and private sector partners across Greece, and the EIB Group’s Investment Team for Greece is delivering high-impact financial and technical support for sustainable investment. And this means not just on the big infrastructure projects which tend to get the headlines, but also the medium-to-smaller size projects which are really helping Greek businesses and essential services.”
The EIB is expected to continue its financing activity in Greece with the imminent announcement of two agreements confirming significant support by the bank for urban development and energy efficiency projects.
“Our next projects will be finalized soon. We intend to announce record support for pioneer energy efficiency and sustainable urban investments throughout Greece,” said the Danish official.
Referring to the EIB’s future participation in Greece, Kettel Thomsen said, “You will see EIB experts working harder and more closely with Greek technical, financial and environmental experts to enhance the impact of future investments supported by the EIB from 2021 onward.”
“I can assure you that the wide range of initiatives by the EIB and the European Investment Fund currently under preparation will allow even bigger support for Greek enterprises and innovation and the offering of improved services throughout the country. And most important of all, it will have an immediate impact on the lives of millions of Greeks,” he pledged.
The EIB VP said the bank was eagerly looking forward to cooperate with its Greek partners to properly utilize European resources for the 2021-26 period. “Our role will be of a strong supporting partner, offering finance and know-how to help Greece accelerate investments that will ensure the improvement of health and education and strengthen economic opportunities and actions on climate,” Kettel Thomsen said.
He also highlighted the lender’s cooperation with commercial banks in Greece: “We will continue our close and effective partnerships with Greek banks into 2021 and beyond. Our main areas of focus are helping businesses stay as healthy as possible, safeguarding existing jobs and creating more jobs by providing business owners with access to non-complex financing. This year, innovation financing priorities to support agriculture, climate action and inclusive finance such as micro-loans for small to medium-sized businesses and vulnerable groups will continue.”