The European Investment Bank (EIB) on Monday formally agreed to help manage up to 5 billion euros as part of Greece’s implementation of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, known as “Greece 2.0”.
The new agreement, signed between the Greek Finance Ministry and EIB, represents the first time that the European Investment Bank has agreed to assist implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RFF) anywhere in Europe.
It is reminded that Greece is expected to receive around 31 billion euros from the European RFF, in the form of grants and loans. It is a one-off initiative intended to help repair the immediate economic and social damage brought about by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
According to the agreement signed on Monday, EIB technical, financial and environmental experts will identify high-impact projects, priority sectors and effective financial structures to ensure best use of new European grant and loan support for Greece to mitigate the social and economic impact of the pandemic.
The cooperation will aim to ensure that Covid-19 recovery delivers on climate action, digitalisation, energy transition and more.
“The Greek Government has already worked hard to seize the unique opportunity offered by the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), in order to achieve a strong, sustainable and inclusive recovery and growth for Greece. We have prepared a realistically ambitious, modern, innovative and extroverted National Recovery and Resilience Plan, underpinned by structural reforms, efficient public investment and important private sector participation,” said Greek Finance Minister and Governor of EIB, Christos Staikouras.
The minister added that Greece’s key-agreement with EIB will give a substantial extra boost to the realisation of projects under the ‘Greece 2.0’ plan.
More specifically, the new agreement will enable EIB’s dedicated Investment Team for Greece to work with Greek authorities to make best use of the European RRF to identify potential public sector projects, corporate investment, SME financing schemes and targeted advisory initiatives.
“The government’s commitment to bridging the investment gap and to creating 200,000 full-time jobs requires cooperation with trustworthy partners, such as the EIB, which will contribute to this effort through its reliability, its extensive know-how and potentially very important additional financing,” said Greek Alternate Finance Minister Thodoros Skylakakis.
Priority green and digital investment to benefit from EIB expertise
The key focus of new investment will support climate action, green energy transition and digital transformation, alongside other sectors that reflect social and economic priorities in Greece.
The new cooperation will initially focus on identifying and proposing new high-impact investment projects located across the country using an estimated 5 billion euros of investment from the National RRF.
Projects will be examined and appraised by EIB experts, and may also benefit from EIB financing alongside European RRF resources.
Last year the EIB and European Investment Fund provided a record 2.8 billion euros of new support for high-impact private and public investment in Greece.
“Over the last 58 years the European Investment Bank has supported investment in Greece to unlock economic opportunities, transform services and support climate action. The EU Bank now stands ready to support the country’s ambitious plans to harness opportunities provided by the Recovery and Resilience Facility funds,” said Christian Kettel Thomsen, EIB Vice President responsible for lending operations in Greece.