Small and medium-sized (SMEs) businesses in Greece will be able to tap into a total of 700 million euros of funding — the largest ever financial support for SME investment — from the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Investment Fund (EIF) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), through local Piraeus Bank.
The move follows a 1 billion euro SME credit line launched with four Greek banks last December.
The EIB Group – the world’s largest international public bank owned by the 28 EU member states – confirmed last week the support for small and medium business investment in Greece at the opening event of its new central Athens office attended by Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos, EIB President Werner Hoyer and over 200 business, public sector, political and diplomatic representatives.
Piraeus Bank CEO Christos Megalou expressed the institution’s commitment to restoring the Greek economy by supporting Greek private entrepreneurship. “As the largest lender in the business sector, it focuses on small and medium-sized enterprises that are the backbone of the Greek economy,” he added.
“Representing the EIB Group’s largest ever support for small businesses’ investment in Greece, this record transaction demonstrates the EIB Group’s reinvigorated support for companies across the country seeking to expand,” said EIB President Werner Hoyer, adding that the new initiative supported by the Investment Plan for Europe, “will allow companies involved in tourism, manufacturing and services to progress”.
Hoyer also referred to the EU Bank’s new Athens office, which he said will ensure still closer cooperation with the private and public sectors.
The total investment of the EIB Group in Greece in 2016 came to 1.63 billion euros. EIB financing for small businesses accounted for 75 percent, with an additional 22 percent for innovation and 3 percent for infrastructure projects.
The group’s financing under the Juncker Plan includes such projects as the upgrade of regional airports, telecom infrastructure, renewable energy, food production and financing for small and medium sized companies.