The Slovenia Times

EIB to Help Slovenia Improve Use of Bank Mechanisms


Bratušek said talks were underway on new projects and forms of cooperation between the EIB and Slovenia. Moreover, she pledged that Slovenia would boost efforts to implement existing agreements with the bank.

Her comments came at the conclusion of Hoyer's two-day visit to Slovenia as part of which he met government, central bank and municipality officials.

Among those taking part in today's meeting between Bratušek and Hoyer were Economy Minister Stanko Stepišnik, Finance Ministry State Secretary Mitja Mavko and EIB Vice President Anton Rop.

Slovenia and the EIB are linked by the many projects they have carried out together, said Bratušek, who expressed hope that cooperation would be expanded in the future.

In order to achieve this, measures must be taken to enable closer cooperation, which was a topic of the talks Hoyer held in the past two days with Slovenian authorities.

One way of boosting cooperation between Slovenia and the EIB is through the state-owned SID export bank.

Bratušek welcomed EIB's readiness to dispatch two to three experts to Slovenia to provide technical assistance in implementing cooperation between the EIB and SID.

She stressed that the EIB was of immense importance to Slovenia and its economy in a time when public funds were limited.

Hoyer labelled his talks with Slovenian officials as intensive, stressing that it was agreed that despite relatively good cooperation so far, there was plenty of potential for deepening ties.

Along with the traditional lending mechanisms, Hoyer highlighted the opportunities presented by financial engineering mechanisms linking EU funds with EIB lending in order to finance projects.

Assessing that the use of funds from a EUR 500m credit line implemented last year could be sped up, he called on Slovenian authorities to take measures to boost efficiency in this area.

Moreover, Hoyer said that the EIB can offer broad technical assistance to Slovenia in areas such as the environment and energy, where the bank sees many potential projects in Slovenia.

Moreover, he stressed that Slovenia will have to strive to be as efficient as possible in using funds available to it in the upcoming seven-year EU budget period.

In an interview with the STA, which will be run on Sunday, Hoyer said that talks with Slovenian officials focused on optimising the use of EU funds. "Now is the time to recalibrate cooperation with the EIB in combining EU finds with those of the bank."

Meanwhile, he told the press today that ways are being sought for Slovenia to implement measures in revitalising cities, promoting energy efficiency and critical infrastructure.

Touching on the problems in the Slovenian banking system, Hoyer assessed that there was a clear determination by Slovenian authorities to tackle the issue. Slovenia is on the right track, he told the press.

In the interview with the STA, he stressed that the process of cleaning bank balance sheets was in the hands of national authorities, whereas the EIB can provide advice.

While praising "the courage and determination" of the government in this area, he said in the interview that efforts must be stepped up in order to secure functioning banks that can work with the EIB to finance projects.


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