Romania at forefront of European JAPSPER programme in 2009

Romania borrowed a record of EUR 1.48 bln from one of the European financial institutions party to the programme, EIB.

Twenty-two of the 54 approved structural funds projects within the Joint Assistance to Support Projects in European Regions (JASPERS) programme under co-ordination of the European Investment Bank (EIB), European Commission (EC), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and KfW Bankengruppe, belonged to Romania, EIB Vice-President Matthias Kollatz Ahnen told a press conference yesterday.

‘The scarcity of budget money can be counterpoised by structural funds where the grant is from 70 to 85 per cent and EIB is among the institutions that offer co-financing products. It makes no difference to us if the project comes from the government, local administration or corporate sector, what we are interested in is the quality of the project’, EIB vice-president said.

EIB operations in Romania cover three major sectors: support for convergence, SMEs and action against climate changes. Romania’s economy has already reached a low, but now across the last phase of the crisis, which manifests itself through difficulties “huge” public budget, consider the EIB official.

Loans granted by EIB to Romania in 2009 amounted to a record of EUR 1.48 bln, while credit given since 1990 is of EUR 7.7 BLN. ‘EIB’s role in combating the effects of global crisis is reflected in the growing value of loans given to Romania from EUR 1.1 bln in 2008 to EUR 1.5 bln in 2009, despite the fact that, as we all know, funding is very difficult to obtain in recession’, Matthias Kollatz Ahnen emphasised. Overall, in 2009, EIB raised its total credit volume to EUR 79 bln, standing for 37 per cent growth compared to 2008 (EUR 58 bln). Most of the loans obtained from EIB in 2009 went to convergence projects (EUR 29 bln, representing 36 per cent growth compared to 2008), combating climate change effects (EUR 17 bln) and promotion of the SMEs (EUR 13 bln). The EIB vice-president noted that the purpose of his visit to Bucharest was to meet with the Romanian ministers of finance and transport.

No formal application made for EIB for Comarnic-Brasov Motorway

Having announced it intended to contribute EUR 500 M financing to the construction of the Comarnic-Brasov motorway (55 km) in 2008, EIB has not commenced talks with the French-Hellenic Vinci-Aktor consortium that was awarded the contract in January because ‘it has not received a funding application as yet’. ‘For the moment, all we offer is consulting services in the project to the Romanian Government, given the fact that we are Europe’s biggest public-private partnership project financing organisation.’, EIB Vice-President Matthias Kollatz Ahnen said. He went on to say that everyone should realise that projects of that kind are large, complex and not at all easy to finance in the current context. ‘We are involved more in talks and less in the financing part’, EIB official concluded.

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