A total of 420 million euros in funding has been earmarked for more than 2,000 Greek small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) as part of the European Commission’s Investment Plan for Europe (aka the Juncker Plan).
In this direction, the European Investment Fund (EIF) signed four funding contracts with Alpha and Piraeus banks to channel 420 million euros to more than 2,000 SMEs in Greece.
The so-called Juncker Plan has the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (ESFI), and is set to spark investments exceeding 3 billion euros in Greece and 183.5 billion euros in Europe.
Under the contracts, the two Greek banks can offer loans with significantly reduced collateral requirements as well as support innovative enterprises within the ‘InnovFin’ initiative.
“Facilitating access to finance for small and medium-sized businesses is a crucial element of the European Commission’s strategy to promote jobs and growth in Greece and across Europe. Greek small and medium-sized enterprises are already benefiting from loans made possible by the Juncker Plan. Today’s agreements will allow some 2,000 more SMEs to finance expansion, innovation and job-creation which will, in turn, contribute to securing Greece’s economic recovery,” said European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos.
“Today’s EFSI signatures with Alpha Bank and Piraeus Bank re-confirm EIF’s commitment to Greek businesses. In less than a year, EFSI will allow EIF to support a total portfolio of over 1 billion euros of loans to Greek businesses,” said EIF Chief Executive Pier Luigi Gilibert during the signing event in Athens.
Last December, the European Investment Bank (EIB) announced the launch of a 1 billion euro “Loans for SMEs and MidCaps” credit line to Greek banks. The loans will be used by Greek banks for on-lending to SMEs and MidCaps active in the agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, services and other sectors.