Luxembourg, 10 June 2014
Further EUR 200 million SME support for growth and employment in Greece
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing in tandem with Greek partner banks a further EUR 200 million worth of SME support for growth and employment in Greece.
These funds, of which EUR 150 million is going to the National Bank of Greece and EUR 50 million to Alpha Bank, are intended to finance projects promoted by small and medium-sized companies in the fields of industry, tourism and services in Greece.
Both loans to the two major Greek banks and long-time EIB partners include a window for financing under the “jobs for youth” programme launched by the EIB in July 2013 as part of a larger initiative of the Member States and Commission to tackle youth unemployment following the decision of the European Council in June 2013. This targeted product focuses on countries with difficult labour market situations for young people.
With regard to the SMEs which would additionally qualify under the “jobs for youth” window, these will need to fulfil one of the following youth employment eligibility criteria:
• they have employed at least one additional young person in the previous six months (or plan to employ an additional young person in the coming six months) calculated from the date of signature of the agreement with the partner bank,
• they offer vocational training to young persons, or internships/training programmes for young people,
• they cooperate with a technical college/school/university to employ young persons (e.g. during summer internships).
The EIB credit lines are being provided under the Guarantee Fund for Greek SMEs specially established in 2012 to cater for the financing needs of SMEs in Greece. To date, more than 250 SMEs all over Greece have benefited from the first three loans signed by the EIB with Greek banks under this facility, with further allocations expected in the coming months. Including today’s loans to NBG and Alpha Bank, total EIB signatures under the Guarantee Fund for Greek SMEs now amount to EUR 500 million.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.
Helen Kavvadia, Tel.: +352 4379 84486, firstname.lastname@example.org