During an official ΕIB visit to Sofia, a loan of 43.5 million euro for urban road transport in the Bulgarian capital was signed in the presence of Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov by Marta Gajęcka, EIB Vice-President responsible for lending in Central Europe as well as Bulgaria, and the acting Mayor of Sofia, Minko Guerdjikov. Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, as former Mayor of Sofia, had initiated this project.
Gajęcka also signed with the Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Simeon Djankov a Memorandum of Understanding that will facilitate implementation of large infrastructure projects in Bulgaria. The Memorandum provides for technical assistance from the European Investment Bank in order to enhance the monitoring and implementation of certain major transport and environmental projects in the country co-financed with European Union grant funds and EIB loans.
On this occasion the European Investment Bank also signed a 50 million euro facility with Eurobank EFG Bulgaria, for funding small and medium-sized companies in the country.
"I am particularly happy to see a boost being given in Bulgaria to our activity focusing on the well-being of the citizens. This is achieved through infrastructure that improves the quality of life and through the small and medium-sized companies that employ most of the people in the country. Our support takes the form not only of lending, but also of providing expertise and assistance to streamline the implementation of complicated key projects, supported equally by the Government, the EIB and the Commission", Gajęcka commented.
"I am pleased to see urban transport for the Bulgarian capital high on the agenda. After our 105 million euro support for the Sofia metro last year, our efforts are now focused on urban road transport. The EIB facility in partnership with Eurobank EFG Bulgaria will offer greater scope for meeting the liquidity needs of local companies in this unprecedented international economic crisis that we are facing", Gajęcka added.
The remit of the EIB, the European Union's bank promoting European objectives, is to contribute to the integration, balanced development and economic and social cohesion of the Member States.
In the last five years since 2004 the EIB has provided loans in Bulgaria totaling some 1.8 billion euro including the current loans. EIB operations now cover all of the country's key economic sectors, ranging from basic infrastructure to manufacturing and services and including support for small and medium-sized companies as well as municipalities. A total of 700 million euro of this amount was for co-financing Bulgaria's national contribution to the implementation of investment priorities and measures with EU Cohesion and Structural Funds during the period 2007-2013.