Monday, November 29, 2010

EIB Lends 325 Million Euros for Serbia Infrastructure Upgrade

The European Investment Bank will lend Serbia 325 million euros ($425 million) to build new roads and a bridge, and partially upgrade its energy industry, EIB President Philippe Maystadt said.

The interest rate for the loan will be in “the range of 3.7 percent for a maturity of 25 years,” he told reporters today before the signing ceremony at the lender’s new offices in Belgrade, the operations hub for the west Balkan region.

The European Union’s lending arm will also expand financing of the western Balkans in the next three years by 5.7 billion euros, adding to the 8.7 billion euros assigned to the region for 2007 to 2013, Maystadt said.

All western Balkan countries aim to join the European Union. Croatia is in the final phase of membership negotiations, Montenegro is a candidate and must meet certain conditions for talks to begin, and the Republic of Macedonia is currently blocked by Greece in a dispute over the country’s name. Serbia is still in an early stage in its accession process.

Separately, when asked if the Irish crisis would in any way affect the EIB’s operations in the western Balkans, Maystadt said that he saw no impact “for the moment.” The EIB will continue to “apply the same level of interest rates, which is much less than what the distressed countries have to pay.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Gordana Filipovic in Belgrade at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at

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