Greece Signs Loan Agreement With European Investment Bank for New Heraklion Airport



Greece on Thursday signed two loan agreements with the European Investment Bank (EIB) worth 330 million euros.

The EIB loans, one for the construction of a new international airport in Heraklion, Crete, and the other for priority investments in Greece, were signed at the Finance Ministry in Athens.

The officials inking the arrangement were EIB Vice President Andrew McDowell, chief of lending operations in Greece, and Greek Finance Minister (and EIB Governor for Greece) Christos Staikouras.

The first agreement was also signed by Kostas Karamanlis, Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, while the second was signed by Giannis Tsakiris, Deputy Minister of Development and Investments.

Adonis Georgiadis, Minister of Development and Investments, was also present at the signing event.

Under the first agreement, the EIB has agreed to provide a 180-million-euro loan to support the construction of the new Heraklion International Airport on the island of Crete.

The new airport will replace the current airport serving Heraklion.

During the summer tourism season, the existing airport is heavily congested and cannot handle additional passengers at the required οptimal level of service using the newest security methods.

The new airport will be built at Kasteli, 30 kilometers (19 miles) from Heraklion. The existing airport will be closed once the new airport is operational.

The 28-year EIB loan to the Hellenic Republic will finance the state’s contribution to the 517-million-euro project.

Construction of the new Heraklion airport is expected to take five years. The project will include a new 18 km (11-mile) long motorway and 6 km (3.7 mile) long access road.

Stakouras stated “Today marks a key milestone in the history of aviation in Greece that will unlock the full tourism potential of the beautiful island of Crete. I welcome the support of the European Investment Bank for the new Heraklion Airport that will create thousands of jobs during construction and when operational and ensure a warm welcome for millions of visitors to Greece in the years to come.”

The EIB is the European Union’s nonprofit, long-term lending institution, established in 1958. Over the years, it has helped make possible more than twelve thousand major European projects by the lending of more than one trillion euros.

With information from AMNA