ATHENS, April 27 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
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
($1 = 0.9179 euros)
(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; editing by Susan Thomas)