In efforts to support major tourism infrastructure projects in Greece, the European Investment Bank (EIB) is planning to approve loans of up to 2 billion euros, the European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Crețu said on Monday.
These projects include the upgrading of 14 privatized airports (300 million euros), the support of tourism enterprises on the island of Crete (40 million euros) and the opening of new jobs for young people.
Crețu made the statements, after European Parliament vice president and head of the SYRIZA European parliamentary group Dimitris Papadimoulis tabled a question in Parliament, regarding the measures that the European Commission is planning to take in order to support Greek SMEs in their efforts to further develop current and new environmentally friendly tourism activities and infrastructrure.
Crețu noted that access to financing has been a major problem for Greek SMEs so far. She stressed however that significant funds have been allocated for projects in Greece by the European Investment Bank and the European Fund for Strategic Investments.
Crețu also underlined that tourism is among Greece’s strategic pillars of “smart specialization”, ideal for the promotion of environmentally friendly forms of travel and infrastructure. “New business models, such as the cooperative economy, are supported by labs established by the Commission, with a focus on the tourism accommodation enterprises,” the Commissioner said.