President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, met on Monday morning with the President of the European Investment Bank, Werner Hoyer, in Nicosia, and discussed with him a series of projects the government intends to launch, seeking the bank’s support.
From his side, Hoyer appeared certain that the very close cooperation between Cyrus and the EIB can be further enhanced and strengthened.
Speaking after the meeting, at the Presidential Palace, Deputy Government Spokesman Panayiotis Sentonas said that Cyprus and the EIB are cooperating for the last 39 years, with the value of loans estimated at 4 bln euros. Around 1.7 bln euros of this lending or 43% of the total occurred from 2013 until today, the Deputy Government Spokesman said.
The President of Cyprus thanked Hoyer about the contribution of EIB towards Cyprus, particularly during the crisis, Sentonas added.
Projects for which the government intends to secure EIB funding include the LNG terminal at Vassiliko, research and innovation projects, investment to cope with climate change and social housing projects.
Speaking after the meeting, Hoyer said that they discussed with President Anastasiades about the ways the EIB is helping Cypriot businesses to grow and improve key services.
“2019 has been a particularly good year for our activities here” the EIB President said, adding that last year, the EIB group provided 230 mln euros for investment in Cyprus, or 1.04% of the country’s GDP. Nowhere in the EU is this ratio higher than here in Cyprus, he added.
Hoyer also noted that last year, the EIB has adopted a new energy lending policy, adding that renewables and the energy efficiency sector play a more important role for the bank’s lending practice in Cyprus.
Moreover, he said that the EIB is currently considering new support for power generation to significantly reduce dependency on oil, as well as for small businesses, climate action, high speed internet access and online financial services investment in Cyprus.
The President of the EIB also said that he would visit the English School, in Nicosia, providing education to Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot students, as part of the bank’s support for new investment at 213 schools across the country.
Asked how the bank’s activities were impacted following a European Council decision for measures against Turkey, over Ankara’s illegal actions in the Eastern Mediterranean, Hoyer said that lending to Turkey was considerably reduced to almost 120 mln euros in 2019, from 2 bln a year before.
“We have listened to the European Council” he said, noting that EU leaders encouraged the EIB to stay in dialogue with the Turkish side, he noted however that “our response has been quite clear.”