Luxembourg, 20 December 1999 - The European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Union's long-term lending institution, is providing a first loan of EUR 300 million for urgent reconstruction in the greater Athens area, hit by a devastating earthquake, on September 7th 1999.
The loan forms part of a larger facility of up to EUR 900 million approved by the EIB, for financing the Earthquake Reconstruction Programme (ERP). Financing under this facility will be phased over a period of 2 to 3 years.
The funds are made available for the reconstruction of public and municipal facilities, industrial and commercial buildings and private sector housing destroyed or damaged by the earthquake.
ERP will be directed and coordinated by the Ministry of National Economy, in cooperation with other Ministries.
In September, the EIB donated EUR 1 million, for urgent reconstruction of school buildings in the most seriously affected areas, in the northwestern suburbs of Athens. In the past the EIB has financed the reconstruction of Kalamata, damaged by earthquakes in September 1986, with seven loans totalling EUR 100 million, carrying a 3% interest subsidy from the European Union budget.
Note to Editors:
The European Investment Bank (EIB), established in 1958 under the Treaty of Rome setting up the European Community, is the European Union's long-term financing institution supporting capital investment projects that further European integration. While strengthening economically weak regions in the European Union (EU) has always been its main objective, the Bank also finances projects in support of other EU policies. In some 120 countries outside the Union the EIB is participating in the implementation of the EU's development and co-operation policy. In 1998, the EIB provided loans totalling some EUR 29.5 billion, of which EUR 736 million for projects in Greece. The Bank borrows on the capital markets the funds for its lending. Its bonds have regularly been rated "AAA" by the leading rating agencies. As the EIB works on a non-profit basis it can pass on to project promoters the excellent conditions it obtains on the markets. The EIB normally finances up to 50 percent of project cost; on average it provides one third of the funding and co-finances investments with other institutions.
For further information, please contact the EIB's Information and Communications Department (Mrs Helen Kavvadia, tel.: +352 43 79 31 46, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
(1) 1 EUR= 324.450 GRD, 0.647500 GBP.
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