ECONOMY

Delayed cash for SMEs due from September

A much-needed injection of 500 million euros for Greek small and medium-sized enterprises will not be delivered before September, though the European Investment Bank and three Greek lenders have agreed by contract to the funding since last year.

In recent negotiations regarding the funding, the Greek side avoided a drachma clause on which the EIB had insisted, allowing for National, Alpha and Pancritia banks to begin receiving the funds from September in order to distribute them to cash-starved SMEs.

A Guarantee Fund for SMEs is also set to be created under the same terms, using 500 million euros of European Union subsidies that through EIB leveraging will amount to 1.4 billion euros. According to the timetable drawn up by the government, the first 600 million euros should be disbursed by January 2013, as the contracts with four banks have to be signed first for them to pass the cash on to the market.