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Greece pens 815 mln euros loan facility with EIB

EIB’s president Werner Hoyer said that the bank’s financial support to Greece totaled 9.0 pct of GDP, one of the highest in the EU.

Greece will see positive growth rates in the third quarter of the year, for the first time, Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis said on Thursday.

Speaking during a ceremony for the signing of a loan facility worth 815 million euros with European Investment Bank for projects in the transport and energy sectors, the finance minister stressed that investments were the key word for Greece and that the EIB will play a significant role in these. He made special mention of the country’s gradual return to capital markets and noted that fiscal adjustment cannot last long without large investment initiatives that will raise incomes, create new jobs and confirm that citizens’ sacrifices are offering results. Hardouvelis presented figures which showed that investments have fallen by 50 pct in Greece since the beginning of the crisis and by 20 pct in Europe, mostly because of a sharp drop in investments on houses. The Greek minister noted, however, that investments on machinery equipment were stabilizing.

Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Minister Mihalis Chrysohoidis, in his speech, said that a restart of major road projects has been achieved and that 10,000 people were working on these projects. He called for EIB support of new projects, such as the expansion of the Athens metro, the Kastelli airport in Crete and railroad projects. Environment, Energy and Climate Change Minister Yiannis Maniatis, called for EIB’s financial support to fund a series of energy projects in the country and said that Greece was nearing its goal to become a regional energy hub.

EIB’s president Werner Hoyer said that the bank’s financial support to Greece totaled 9.0 pct of GDP, one of the highest in the EU and stressed that “only with these kind of investments can the economy recover and create new job positions”.

Since early 2014, EIB has signed loan agreements worth 1.375 billion euros to fund projects in Greece, including 232 million euros earmarked for loans to small- and medium-sized enterprises.