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Close co-operation with upcoming Italian Presidency: EIB continues to focus on infrastructure, SMEs and innovation




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e5cb0715a31c093f06133f76d5d4cebbEuropean Investment Bank (EIB) President Werner Hoyer and EIB Vice-President Dario Scannapieco met with Italian Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan on the margins of EIB's board of directors meeting in Rome in order to discuss priorities and joint initiatives for the upcoming Italian EU Presidency. Both sides agreed to co-operate closely in order to tackle unemployment in Europe. They also emphasized that Europe needs modern and efficient infrastructure to support growth and strengthen its competitiveness.

President Hoyer said: “The EIB Group, in close co-operation with the Italian Presidency, will keep up its momentum in investing in modern infrastructure in Europe. This is vital for the future of our continent, given the global competition.” Loans worth up to 2.9 billion were approved for infrastructure projects, including the upgrade and extension of the Scotia Gas Network’s gas distribution (up to 468 million) and up to 213m for the modernization of the Rail Baltica line from Warsaw to the Lithuanian border.

Regarding other key priorities of the bank, loans worth up to 730m will go to the area of research, development and innovation, for example up to 500m for an investment programme in advanced broadband services in Denmark. Projects in the area of renewable energy and energy efficiency will be supported with loans worth up to 590m, one of them for hydroelectric power generation in Austria (up to 280m).

Moreover, up to 600m have been approved for integrated urban renewal and development schemes focusing on social housing and energy resource efficiency in the UK, as well as a loan worth up to 349m for the construction of 46 new schools in the UK.

The EIB also continues its strong support for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) and mid-cap companies across the European Union to boost growth and employment in Europe. The EIB’s Board of Directors approved loans up to 1.8bn for the benefit of European SMEs and mid-caps. This brings total EIB support for SMEs and mid-cap companies so far in 2014 to 10.9bn. Up to 700m were approved today for projects in SME and mid-cap investments primarily in the Netherlands, up to 450m for Portugal and up to 383m for Italy.

The Board of Directors of the European Investment Fund (EIF) approved 22 new operations on 3 June through which the EIF will further reinforce its support for SMEs. These deals represent EIF commitments of 518m and are expected to leverage 2.69bn of capital. With these new approvals, the number of deals approved in 2014 now amounts to 56, with commitments in the order of 1.46bn and an expected overall leverage of 7.2bn.


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