MILAN Aug 31 The European Investment Bank will
continue disbursing a 500 million euro ($625 million) loan to
Italian carmaker Fiat for a new plant in Serbia, even
though the government there has slowed down investment pledged
for the factory.
"At the moment we are not aware of any impact on the loan,"
a spokesman for the EIB told Reuters on Friday.
The subsidised loan, granted by the European Union's finance
arm in May 2011, is part of a joint project in the central
Serbian city of Kragujevac worth 1 billion and including
contributions from the government and Fiat.
While Serbia and Fiat have pledged to pay 500 million euros,
the cash-strapped government said on Thursday it will hand over
only 55 percent of the 90 million it was due to pay the carmaker
The plant, which opened on April 14 and is designed to make
up to 200,000 cars per year, builds Fiat's new 500L, a larger
five-seat version of the Fiat 500 minicar and scheduled to be
launched next month.
After a recent fact-finding visit by Fiat vice-chairman
Alfredo Altavilla, chief executive Sergio Marchionne was
expected to visit Serbia on Sept. 4 for further talks.
($1 = 0.8001 euro)
(Reporting by Francesca Landini; Editing by Dan Lalor)