EIB and Andalusia Region sign EUR 400 million loan for financing educational facilities
24. May 2010. | 09:26
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Government of Andalusia have signed in Seville a EUR 400 million loan for financing the construction of new schools and refurbishment of existing facilities throughout Andalusia.
The European Investment Bank (EIB), represented by Vice-President Carlos da Silva Costa, and the Government of Andalusia, represented by the Minister of Finance and Public Administration, Carmen Martínez Aguayo, have signed in Seville, in the presence of the President of Andalusia, José Antonio Griñán, a EUR 400 million loan for financing the construction of new schools and refurbishment of existing facilities throughout Andalusia.
Vice-President da Silva Costa underlined “the EIB’s commitment to supporting Andalusia’s economic and social development, as demonstrated by its participation in projects of this kind, which are not only important in absolute terms but also serve to nurture human capital. Investing in education improves job opportunities, increases productivity and adds value, so enabling people to earn more money and improve their quality of life. This project will foster common objectives and promote growth, in line with the EU’s and the EIB’s priorities.”
The bulk of the loan will go towards the construction of new schools under the “Andalusia Schools” programme to cater for forecast demand for school places in new urban districts. Another large chunk will finance the refurbishment and enlargement of 692 state schools spread throughout the region and accommodating some 175 000 children, along with the 2009-2011 equipment purchasing programme.
As well as creating new schools, the project will therefore serve to refurbish and modernise existing schools, equipping them with new technologies and upgrading their sports facilities.
The Government of Andalusia has also launched an education improvement programme, which mainly comprises in-service teacher training courses and quality assurance audits. This forms an important adjunct to the EIB-financed project.
The EIB is the EU’s long-term financing institution promoting European objectives. Founded in 1957, it operates in the 27 EU Member States and more than 130 other countries around the globe. EIB loans are provided in the framework of well-defined EU policies. Financing investment in human capital formation, including education and training, is a particularly important area of EIB activity.
The EIB is the world’s biggest lender to the Andalusia Region. Its first loan to the Government of Andalusia (and first operation with a Spanish region authority) dates back to 1983, before Spain had even joined the EU.
Since then the Government of Andalusia has received 26 EIB loans totalling EUR 1.4 billion to finance investment in areas including roads, water infrastructure, railways, housing, the environment, forestry, rural electrification and roads, tourist facilities, universities and cultural heritage.
The EIB has also granted five loans totalling EUR 100 million to Andalusia’s Innovation and Development Agency for providing long-term, low-interest credit to finance productive investment by Andalusian firms. And, via the European Investment Fund (EIF), it worked with the agency to set up two venture capital funds: Andalucía Capital Desarrollo and GED SUR.
Lastly, it has provided two loans totalling EUR 635 million to help finance the Seville and Málaga metros and signed a finance contract establishing a Jessica Holding Fund.