ECONOMY

ESPA program gets 300 mln euros from EIB

espa-program-gets-300-mln-euros-from-eib

Greece has signed a deal with the European Investment Bank (EIB) for a 1-billion-euro loan to support the recovery of the country’s economy. The loan will cover Greece’s participation in the 2014-20 National Strategic Reference Framework (ESPA) program.

The agreement signed on Thursday provides for 300 million euros to be disbursed immediately to be used toward outstanding payments in the 2007-14 ESPA program.

In a press release, EIB President Werner Hoyer said: “The EU Bank confirms its significant commitment to Greece’s economy. We remained active and strengthened our role in the country throughout the crisis.”

Around 50 million euros from the previous loan agreement with the EIB, worth 2 billion euros in total, is also being put toward paying for incomplete ESPA projects. Greece began with a 25 percent contribution rate when the ESPA program started, falling to 5 percent during the crisis. The country’s contribution rate is currently nil, which has seriously impacted the funds of the program.

Since the beginning of the crisis, the EIB has provided loans of over 11 billion euros for projects in the country. A parallel program for highways worth around 240 million euros is also run by the EIB.