Caretaker Development Minister Yiannis Stournaras confirmed on Monday that the European Investment Bank has approved the release of funding for the activation of the Guarantee Fund for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, following a phone conversation with the EIB administration.
However, the EIB has only approved half of the budget provided for by the relevant agreement with Athens, as it decided to disburse just 500 million euros for the fund in this first phase of the program. Only once this amount has been fully absorbed will the EIB proceed to the second phase with the disbursement of the other 500 million.
Separately, Stournaras sent a letter to France’s Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici on Friday asking the French state to help in the insurance of export credit. There had had been no response from Paris by late on Monday.
Stournaras made the move after French credit insurance company Coface announced its decision to stop signing new contracts for insuring exports to Greece due to its plan to gradually pull out of the Greek market.