The European Investment Bank (EIB) signed an agreement with the Greek government under which a 25-year 150 million-euro loan will be provided to Athens to boost protection from floods and climate change.
The funds will be invested to ten projects over the next four years in Athens, Thessaloniki, northern Greece and Peloponnese in the south, which will cost a total of 355 million euros, according to an e-mailed EIB press statement.
This is the largest ever support provided by EIB to Greece for new investment to protect homes and businesses from flooding, it is noted.
The loan agreement was signed in Athens by Greek Finance Minister Christos Staikouras, Minister of Infrastructure and Transport Konstantinos Karamanlis and European Investment Bank Vice President, Andrew McDowell.
“New investment is essential to save lives and property from flooding in vulnerable communities across Greece. Sustainable development is a high priority in the agenda of the Greek government to ensure environmental protection and act decisively towards addressing the impact of climate change,” said Staikouras.
“I welcome the European Investment Bank’s support for new investment to reduce the risks of flooding in Greece. Similar schemes have been tried and tested elsewhere in Europe successfully,” added Karamanlis.
“The European Investment Bank is committed to accelerating climate-related investment that both improves protection against extreme weather events and reduces carbon emissions. This new investment in Greece to protect against a changing climate demonstrates the close partnership between the Greek government and local authorities, the EIB and European Commission to support climate action and reduce the risk of future flood damage,” said McDowell.
Since 2000, over 16,000 people have been directly impacted and more than one billion euros of economic activity damaged by flooding in Greece, the Greek government noted. (1 euro = 1.09 U.S. dollars)