European Investment Bank (EIB) will continue supporting the Greek economy in a difficult period for the country, Plutarhos Sakellaris, the bank’s vice-president said on Monday.

Speaking to reporters, during a news conference in Athens, Sakellaris said this year would be another crucial year for the Greek economy and noted that European Investment Bank pledged to continue supporting the country’s real economy. “With innovative products and favourable interests we will support projects which will become the engine of growth,” the Greek banker said. EIB’s lending to Greece totaled an all-time high of 3.2 billion euros in 2010, up from 1.6 billion in 2009, 1.2 billion euros in 2008 and 755 million euros in 2007.

Futures funding will include larger infrastructure projects, such as a new airport in Heraclion, Crete and expansion projects in the Thessaloniki metro and Attica Road. Energy projects will include energy production, such as an electricity production unit in Rhodes, with emphasis given to green energy projects, Sakellaris said, adding that energy projects will also include renewable energy sources, windpower and photovoltaic projects. EIB will also fund a wide range of smaller infrastructure projects -joint projects between public and private sector companies- in the fields of education, waste management, public administration and smaller energy projects.