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Cyprus and EIB sign agreement for loan worth 80m euros
2005-06-10 12:01:44

Nicosia, Jun 10 (CNA) -- Cypriot Minister of Finance Iacovos Keravnos and Vice President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Gerlando Genuardi signed an agreement for a loan today, worth 80 million euros, to finance projects and programmes co-financed by the cohesion and structural funds.

Speaking at the ceremony in Nicosia, Genuardi expressed certainty that the Cypriot citizens would concretely perceive the benefits of the new investment, while Keravnos pointed out the importance of the loan, since it concerns the financing of projects and programmes which are co-financed by the structural funds and cohesion funds.

Genuardi said ''we enjoy excellent long-standing relations and this facility builds upon this solid and, I hope, permanent spirit of cooperation.''

''By co-financing investment programmes, mainly small-sized investments with the structural funds and the cohesion funds, we will together put special emphasis on social and economic cohesion, on environment, on the development of human capital, the main priorities of the EU,'' Genuardi said.

He added that ''we have successfully experienced this cooperation with the member states, the structural funds, in the EU and the new member states.''

''Not only are we confident but we are sure that the implementation will be successful and the citizens of the country will concretely perceive the benefits of the new investment,'' he concluded.

Keravnos noted that this was ''the third visit of Mr. Genuardi to Cyprus in the past 20 months, which indicates the Bank's and his own strong interest in Cyprus.''

''EIB has long-standing ties with Cyprus. Actually we feel EIB is a solid partner in our efforts for the modernisation of Cyprus' infrastructure and helped pave the way towards the EU,'' he added.

The Minister noted that during the period since 1978, ''EIB lent a total sum of 1.3 billion euros for investments in the various sectors of the economy, so it is a great pleasure for me to sign today a finance contract on behalf of the Republic of Cyprus with EIB.''

''This specific loan, amounting up to 80 million euros, is of major importance because it concerns the financing of projects and programmes which are co-financed by the structural funds and cohesion funds,'' he pointed out.

Replying to questions, Keravnos said the loan will help finance programmes to strengthen the rural economy, to rejuvenate the urban sector, enhance and modernise the public service labour, adapt the skills of current workers and new recruits, as well as the unemployed, to the needs of the labour market, promote equal opportunities and the access of women to the labour market, utilise new technologies through life-long learning, enhance and strengthen secondary and technical education, provide technical assistance, and take measures to upgrade the fishery sector.

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