By Olga Aristeidou
The President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Odile Renaud-Basso, is visiting Greece on 18 and 19 February in an entirely virtual format over a two-day programme.
As travelling and physical meetings continue to be disrupted by the pandemic, the EBRD President will leverage digital platforms, which have profoundly reshaped our ways of working and international relations over the past year.
Ms Renaud-Basso said: “I am delighted to meet the government and our clients for the first time in my new post. I am looking forward to the opportunity to reiterate the EBRD’s commitment to Greece and our strong support for the country in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, which was demonstrated by the increase of our investment in the country in 2020. We stand ready to continue contributing to a strong, sustainable and inclusive recovery.”
President Renaud-Basso will meet Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis; the Minister of Development and Investments, Adonis Georgiadis; the Minister of Finance, Christos Staikouras; the Deputy Minister of Development and Investments, Yannis Tsakiris; and the Chief Economic Advisor to the PM, Alex Patelis.
Focusing on the economy, President Renaud-Basso will also speak with the Governor of the Bank of Greece, Yiannis Stournaras; the CEO of the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund, Riccardo Lambiris; as well as representatives of private sector companies and the banking sector.
The EBRD delegation will also include the EBRD First Vice President and Head of Client Services Group, Jürgen Rigterink; the EBRD Vice President, Poicy and Partnerships, Pierre Heilbronn; the EBRD Vice President, Banking, Alain Pilloux; the regional Managing Director, Charlotte Ruhe; the Head of Greece, Andreea Moraru; and the Deputy Director for governance and political affairs, Oleg Levitin.
Addressing the urgent needs of the economy and laying the foundations for building back better, the EBRD invested close to €800 million(US$963.52million) in 17 projects in 2020, compared with €571 million in 13 projects in 2019, putting Greece in the EBRD’s top five of the economies where we invest last year.
Investments included a €75 million investment in the successful Eurobond tap issuance by Hellenic Petroleum, in support of a new solar photovoltaic plant in Greece, a €160 million loan to Public Power Corporation, a €57.5 million investment in GEK TERNA’s successful issuance of a seven-year €500 million bond and a €50 million in the first senior preferred green bond issuance by the National Bank of Greece.
In late 2020 the Bank also joined forces with the Ministry of Development and Investments of Greece to establish a new public-private partnership preparation facility cooperation account. The project pipeline will mostly be in the social infrastructure sector (education and health), sustainable urban infrastructure, and water and waste management.
The EBRD started operating in Greece on a temporary basis in 2015 to support the country’s economic recovery. To date, the Bank has invested more than €4 billion in 70 projects in the corporate, financial, energy and infrastructure sectors of the Greek economy.