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Ministry of Finance: A long-term goal is the utilization of the EIB's financial tools

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Makis Keraynos' statements were made during the signing ceremony of two loan agreements signed with the EIB for a total amount of €230 million

ΥΠΟΙΚ: Διαχρο&nu ;ικός στόχος η αξιοποΙηση των χρη&mu

The utilization of the available financial tools of the European Investment Bank (EIB) is a perennial goal of the Government, especially in the current era characterized by continuous and unpredictable challenges both at the global and national level, stressed the Minister of Finance Makis Keravnos.

Makis Keravnos' reports were made during the signing ceremony of two loan agreements signed with the EIB for a total amount of €230 million. The first concerns the provision of a loan to the Republic of Cyprus of up to €130 million to cover part of the national contribution in the context of program “THALEA” 2021 – 2207 and the second concerns the provision of loans of €100 million to the Sewerage Boards of Nicosia, Larnaca and Limassol Amathus, for the financing of important infrastructure projects, which will ensure the country's compliance with the European directive regarding the municipal wastewater treatment. The ceremony took place in the presence of the Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, Petros Xenophontos, the Vice-President of EBRD, Kyriakos Kakouris, and representatives of the affected Sewerage Boards.

In his greeting, Mr. Keravnos pointed out that the favorable financing terms of EIB and its increased long-term lending capacity, leads to lower financing costs and improved terms for the final beneficiaries.

“Therefore, our goal over time is to take advantage of the available financial tools offered by the EIB, for the implementation of large and important projects, such as those for which the agreements are signed today, especially in the current phase where we are going through an era characterized by continuous and unpredictable challenges, both at global and national level”, he emphasized.

1st tranche of €130 million for partial financing of the “THALEIA” program

Regarding the financing agreement of €130 million for the partial financing of projects and programs co-financed by the Cohesion Policy Funds of the European Union and included in the “THALEIA 2021-2027” program, Mr. Keravnos said that the broader lending agreement, as approved by the Council of Ministers, concerns the conclusion of a loan with the EIB of up to €369 million

He explained that the “THALEIA” program includes projects with a total value of €1.81 billion during the period 2021-2027, with the national contribution estimated at €842 million, and the financing from the EU's Cohesion Policy Funds at €968 million The agreement with the EIB aims to finance part of the national contribution of the Republic of Cyprus.

For his part, EIB Vice President Kyriakos Kakouris emphasized that this is the first tranche of financing. “This means that if the programs are executed before and until the end of the program period, then there is a possibility of additional financing from the EIB if there is a satisfactory absorption of the funds”, he added

Funding of 100 million for sewage treatment projects

With reference to the loan agreement of €100 to the Sewerage Boards, Mr. Keravnos emphasized that the implementation of the projects in question “is a top priority for the state, since it will ensure the Republic's compliance with its EU obligations, adding that the implementation of the projects being financed, will also bring about significant environmental benefits and other positive effects on the lives of the residents of the areas in question and will contribute to the protection of public health”.

As he said, the Government intends to grant state guarantee for said loans.

For his part, the Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment Petros Xenophontos described these projects as “of the utmost importance”, as they fall under the implementation program of Directive 91/271/EEC for the treatment of urban wastewater in communities and municipalities with an equivalent population greater than 2,000.

“The implementation of these projects in addition to compliance with the requirements of the European directive and other important benefits such as the protection of the environment and underground water resources, as well as the protection of public health but also other positive effects on the lives of the residents of the areas in question”, he said

For his part, Mr. Kakouris emphasized that the EIB's support for the construction of sewage works is timeless and very important, since, as he mentioned, all the sewage works in all the cities of free Cyprus have been financed by the Bank.

The sewage treatment agreements were also welcomed by the affected Sewerage Boards, highlighting the importance of the major infrastructure projects.

The Mayor of Larnaca, Andreas Vyras, characterized the project as of great importance for the affected citizens and residents of the affected areas as well as for the Republic of Cyprus itself, since compliance with the European directive on urban wastewater management is achieved.

As he said, the D phase project will cover the residential areas of the Municipalities of Aradippou and Livadia and the communities of Oroklini and Pyla with a sewage system.

The Director of Financial Services of the Nicosia Sewerage Board, Antonis Antoniou, welcomed the project financing agreement for the construction of drainage systems in the areas of the Municipality of Idali and the Communities of Peran Chori Nisos and Lymbia.

As he said, the system will serve an equivalent a population of approximately 32,000 inhabitants based on the last census and a predicted population of nearly 50,000 by 2050

Finally, the General Manager of the Limassol and Amathos Sewerage Board, Yiannis Tsouloftas said that the financier agreement concerns two infrastructure projects. The first concerns the sewerage network of Palodia, an area that is experiencing a large building development, and the second concerns the implementation of a monumental project of the construction of the sewerage system of the Kurio complex, which extends across the entire Akrotiri Peninsula.

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Source: www.kathimerini.com.cy

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