Mediterranean ranks high on EIB agenda

07 July 1995

Financing to Mediterranean states by the European Investment Bank (EIB) accounted for 27 per cent of total commitment to states outside the EU in 1994. This was the second largest commitment to a single region outside central and Eastern Europe.

Transport and telecommunications accounted for ECU 243 million ($325 million) of the total ECU 607 million ($812 million) allocated to the Mediterranean region. Energy was the second biggest sector, accounting for 22 per cent of the total, or ECU 135 million ($180 million).

Morocco received ECU 140 million ($187 million), mainly aimed at a project to interconnect the Spanish and Moroccan electricity grid, as well as upgrading the Moroccan power network.

Egypt was the second largest recipient of EIB funds with ECU 131 million ($98 million) allocated, mainly to upgrade the electricity supplies in Alexandria and expand the steelworks near the city. EIB has also recently approved a ECU 220 million ($294 million) loan for the first private refinery to be built in Egypt by an Israeli/local joint venture (MEED 30:6:95, Egypt). Lebanon received ECU 115 million ($154 million), to be used for improving the port and airport.

In November 1994, the board of governors authorised the bank to finance projects in Gaza and the West Bank, as part of its programme to support the peace process. EIB have offered ECU 300 million ($401 million) during the next two years (MEED 14:4:95, Gaza/West Bank).

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