European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice-President Plutarchos Sakellaris on Wednesday announced a 500-million-euro programme to guarantee EIB loans for SMEs through Greek banks.

    The plan was announced by European Commission President Barroso on the same day, in order to allow further EIB support to Greek SMEs.

    "There is an urgent need for clear and long-term financial support, so that viable investment projects can materialize. Investments that will not only pull us out of the crisis, but that will open the road to competitiveness and long-term development. Such investments exist," Sakellaris said.