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GreeceEIB announces new 220-mln-euro loan to Greece for flood and fire protection

EIB announces new 220-mln-euro loan to Greece for flood and fire protection

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The European Investment Bank (EIB) is lending Greece 220 million euros to help protect it against floods and wildfires occurring more often as a result of climate change as well as against other natural disasters such as earthquakes, it said on Friday. The funding will be used to buy fire engines, firefighting planes and helicopters, drones, rescue vehicles and control centres.

The support aids a multi-year Greek ‘Aegis’ plan to strengthen the country’s civil-protection mechanism. Greece was hit by deadly wildfires in 2017 and 2018, and devastating wildfires in 2021 and 2023, as well as by catastrophic flooding in September 2023.

“We have seen first-hand the devastation caused by deadly wildfires and floods in Greece in recent years,” said EIB Vice-President Kyriacos Kakouris. “This support will help the country respond more quickly and effectively when disaster strikes, protect lives and better prepare for natural disasters and pandemics.”

The investment is part of the EIB Group’s EU-wide Climate Adaptation Plan and follows an initial loan to Greece of 375 million euros in January 2021.

“When I took charge of the portfolio at the Ministry of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection, I pledged to the prime minister and my fellow citizens that I would implement the Aegis program as quickly as possible,” Minister Vassilis Kikilias said. “It is a significant, emblematic program for which Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis secured funds worth 2.1 billion euros with the aim of upgrading the civil protection and protecting the country against the natural disasters caused by the rapidly evolving climate crisis across the planet. I am proud that within a few months we have managed not only to put all of the projects to tender, but we are also progressing to the next stage, their contractualization. I want to warmly thank the EIB, which is one of the three sources of funding for Aegis, for the excellent cooperation that we have developed during the effort to implement a program that is vital for the protection of human life, fellow citizens’ property and, of course, the environment and our country’s forestry resources,” he said.

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Alternate Minister of Economy and Finance Nikos Papathanasis said, “Dealing with the consequences of the climate crisis is one of the biggest challenges the modern world faces. The destruction caused by storm ‘Daniel’ show the importance of common European policy, the effectiveness of European funds and the part played by programs like Aegis. The Greek government continues to be in the front line and to cooperate with organisations like the EIB for the benefit of civil protection and the protection of the environment.”

The new loan, along with the one in 2021, represents the first targeted direct EIB support for civil protection and disaster preparedness in Greece. It is also the largest amount of EIB aid for disaster management and response in Europe. The program, to be implemented until 2025, will restructure civil protection in Greece to enable quicker responses, strengthened local preparedness and coordination and improved equipment.

SOURCE; ANA-MPA

The copyrights for these articles are owned by the Hellenic News of America. They may not be redistributed without the permission of the owner. The opinions expressed by our authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Hellenic News of America and its representatives.

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