A 30-strong team of financial experts from the European Investment Bank is ready to set up shop in Athens and examine investment plans in this country that could qualify for funding through European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker’s investment plan for growth and jobs, also known as the Juncker Package.
This is an EIB initiative exclusively for Greece that signals the strengthening of its presence in this country through specialized consultancy services. Half of the 30 team members will be based at the EIB offices in Athens.
As the head of the consultancy team, Nick Jennett, explained on Friday at a press conference, the experts will proceed to direct contacts with any enterprises that show an interest in undertaking investment initiatives that require financing.
EIB President Werner Hoyer added that the funding through the Juncker Package constitutes an additional activity for the lender, which in 2015 issued loans and guarantees to Greece totaling 1.4 billion euros. He stressed the option for participation in the share capital of enterprises, and insisted on the shift in mentality in Europe from subsidies to guarantees.
Hoyer also expressed optimism about the completion of the first bailout review and the course of reforms in the country, but warned that a delay in the review combined with the refugee problem could worsen investor sentiment toward Greece.