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European Commission - Press release

The European Union disburses €100 million in aid to Tunisia

Brussels, 07 May 2015

The European Commission today disbursed a loan of €100 million to Tunisia on behalf of the European Union. This instalment is the first tranche of the €300 million Macro-Financial Assistance (MFA) programme for Tunisia approved by the EU in May 2014.

Pierre Moscovici, European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, said: ‘One week after the signing of the financing agreements between Tunisia and the European Commission under the neighbourhood policy, this payment represents another specific example of the support given by the European Union to Tunisia in its political transition and the implementation of its reform agenda. Today’s macro-financial assistance will contribute to the economic part of this agenda, which is designed to create the conditions for sustainable and inclusive growth’.

Macro-Financial Assistance is part of the EU's commitment to neighbouring countries, and is an exceptional crisis-response instrument made available by the EU to these countries.

This aid supplements the subsidies that Tunisia receives under the European Neighbourhood Policy Instrument in particular. Johannes Hahn, the Member of the Commission responsible for European Neighbourhood Policy, also launched five programmes amounting to €63 million during his recent visit to Tunisia on 29 and 30 April.

Background

The Commission raised the funds for today's disbursement by means of a private placement on the financial markets on 29 April 2015. The funds were raised by a bond issue of €100 million with a final maturity of 12 years and an interest rate of only 0.498 %.

This amount has today been allocated to Tunisia in the form of a loan under the same conditions, i.e. a long-term loan at a very low interest rate.

The budget for aid to Tunisia in the form of financial assistance was proposed by the European Commission on 5 December 2013 and adopted by the European Parliament and the Council on 15 May 2014 (Decision No 534/2014/EU). This initial instalment of €100 million was approved by the Commission on 14 April 2015.

Detailed information on MFA to Tunisia can be found via the following link (only available in English):

http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/international/neighbourhood_policy/tunisia_en.htm

IP/15/4933

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