The European Investment Bank Group (EIB) signed on Tuesday in Athens, a Memorandum of Understanding with the Hellenic Republic, concerning the contribution of the EIB to the soon to be established “Institution for Growth in Greece” (IfG).
The IfG will be set up so as to promote growth, innovation and employment through the provision of short and long-term debt and equity capital to small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as smaller infrastructure projects necessary to enhance competitiveness in key selected sectors of the Greek economy.
The agreement was signed by Greek Development and Competitiveness Minister Kostis Chatzidakis and EIB President Werner Hoyer, in the presence of Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras.
“This agreement underpins our strong commitment to Greece,” EIB President Hoyer, who is visiting Greece for the fourth time in the last six months, said, and added, “As the EU bank, we are natural partners in the country’s recovery efforts, for which we provide continuous and effective support. We are determined to enhance our cooperation with the Hellenic Republic, other European development finance institutions and private investors in further assisting recovery in Greece. Our cooperation, based on our comparative advantages, will help to avoid duplication of resources and maximize the impact for the benefit of the Greek citizens.”
The IfG will be established as a non-bank finance institute addressing the need to overcome existing temporary and structural funding gaps in the Greek economy. Germany’s state-owned KfW bank is set to contribute €100 million to the institute following an agreement signed earlier in April, while the Onassis Foundation has also pledged €30 million to the new fund.
EIB activity in Greece has remained strong, with a total of €9 billion being invested since the start of the crisis in 2008. With an exposure of almost €17 billion, corresponding to around 9 percent of Greek GDP, the overall contribution of the EIB remains outstanding.