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ATHENS, April 27 (Reuters) - Greek lenders Piraeus Bank and Alpha have signed agreements with the European Investment Fund (EIF) to provide 420 million euros ($457.55 million) in loans to more than 2,000 small businesses in the country, they said on Thursday.
The agreements will enable the banks to provide loans with reduced collateral requirements and favourable financial terms as part of efforts to help the Greek economy's recovery, targeting innovative companies.
"Facilitating access to finance for small and medium-sized businesses is a crucial element of the European Commission's strategy to promote jobs and growth in Greece and across Europe," EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said in a statement.
The EIF is part of the European Investment Bank (EIB). Its main mission is to support Europe's small and medium-sized businesses, helping them to access funding.
The EIF facility is supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments, the central pillar of the EU Commission's investment plan for Europe, also known as the Juncker Plan.
"Access to finance continues to be a pressing issue for many businesses. EFSI will allow EIF to support a total portfolio of over 1 billion euros of loans to Greek businesses," EIF Chief Executive Pier Luigi Gilibert said during a signing ceremony in Athens. ($1 = 0.9179 euros) (Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; editing by Susan Thomas)