Cyprus has received a loan of over €350 million from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to boost social cohesion, Finance Minister Makis Keravnos said on Wednesday.

The loan of €369 million is given in the framework of the EU programme Thalia.

“In a difficult economic situation on a global and especially European level, the government is constantly trying to keep our economy strong and competitive with new actions and decisions,” Keravnos said.

He added that in this framework, the government is implementing the Thalia programme for the period 2021 – 2027, with a total budget of €1.8 billion, through which the economy will be led to smart, digital, and green investments under conditions of healthy employment and social cohesion, thus capturing the development priorities of the Cypriot economy and the government.

According to Keravnos, the Republic of Cyprus has secured €968 million from the EU cohesion policy funds, with the national contribution estimated at €842 million.

On the basis of these data and due to the fact that the EIB usually co-finances the projects and programmes financed by the EU cohesion policy funds by granting loans to the member states, he continued, the Cypriot government has secured the EIB loan of up to €369 million to finance selected operational programmes and priorities.

“The proposed financing will contribute positively to the start of the implementation of the various investment programmes and will allow Cyprus to face a number of important economic and environmental challenges,” he said.

He also explained that this financing provides a significant financial benefit for Cyprus, because the terms of granting the loan from the EIB are comparatively the best of any source of external or internal financing.

It is a loan that provides a grace period of seven years and a long repayment period of 25 years and a low interest rate.