The European Union’s lending arm, the European Investment Bank (EIB), will manage 5 billion euros ($5.96 billion) of the money Greece is due to receive from the European Union’s pandemic recovery fund, officials said on Monday.
Under a multi-billion-euro coronavirus recovery package agreed by EU leaders last year, Athens is to get 19.4 billion euros in grants and 12.7 billion euros in cheap loans in coming years, equal to about 16% of its gross domestic product.
“It’s in fact the first EIB cooperation to implement investments by the recovery and resilience facility anywhere in Europe,” Christian Kettel Thomsen Vice-President of the EIB said during a webcast signing ceremony with the leadership of the Greek Finance Ministry.
The EIB will transfer its know-how in digital and green projects to Greece and speed up investments.
The Greek state will set eligibility criteria for future investments and the EIB will proceed with the financing of the projects, Deputy Finance Minister Theodore Skylakakis said
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis wants the recovery plan, encompassing about 170 projects focusing on digitalisation, green energy and education, to make Greece’s economy more outward looking and growth oriented.
Under last year’s EU agreement, the European Commission will be allowed to raise up to 750 billion euros on capital markets and pass on the money to member states worst hit by the pandemic through payments linked to jointly agreed reform and investment plans. [Reuters]