FINANCE

EIB financing of over €700 mln

EIB financing of over €700 mln

The European Investment Bank agreed on Monday to supply over 700 million euros in support to a number of state projects in Greece, chief among which are the new metro line in central Athens and the further digitalization of the public sector.

At the headquarters of Attiko Metro SA in Athens, the European Union’s lending arm concluded and signed a landmark financing agreement worth €580 million for construction of the metro’s Line 4, which represents both the largest amount of EIB support for new transport in the country and for a single project in Greece.

The new financing, which in the form of a 30-year loan, will support the construction of the initial Alsos Veikou-Goudi section, a project comprising 15 new underground stations. This is the second part of the €730 million total in financing being provided for the project by the EIB. The first had amounted to €150 million and was disbursed at end-November.

“Over the last 30 years the EIB has supported visionary investment by Attiko Metro that has reduced traffic jams and improved travel for Athenians and visitors,” said EIB Vice President Christian Kettel Thomsen.

Also on Monday Thomsen signed another financing agreement on behalf of the EIB amounting to €125 million aimed at further strengthening digitalization projects undertaken by the Digital Governance Ministry that support the upgrading of the Greek state’s digital infrastructure.

The financing will be directed toward projects that will be of immediate benefit to the Greek public, but also works that will produce indirect benefits by enhancing parts of the public administration where the state and citizens interact. The first category includes projects such as “Wi-Fi GR,” which aims to create 3,000 hot spots in public areas across Greece and will involve the digitalization of some public health services.

The second category consists of schemes such as the creation of teleconferencing networks at courts and prisons. Special emphasis will be placed on innovation, the development of digital skills among citizens and adapting to the demands of the Fourth Industrial Revolution through the financing of actions such as national digital innovation hubs.

The program will be implemented over a five-year period.