Republic to receive €867m in funding from EU bank

Renewable Energy

The European Investment Bank (EIB) will provide €867 million in funding for various projects in the Republic this year, on a par with 2017, its president Werner Hoyer has told The Irish Times.

Mr Hoyer was in Dublin last week to announce two more funding projects for the EIB here: €84 million invested in a renewable energy fund operated by NTR, and a €100 million facility with Gas Network Ireland to help it modernise its infrastructure.

This compares with annual funding of just €210 million to Ireland a decade ago by the self-dubbed “EU bank”, which was founded in 1958 and offers low-cost financing on a long-term basis to companies and projects in the 28 member states and other nations.

“It can be difficult to get financing for small growth firms and difficult to get longer tenures,” Mr Hoyer said. “We can refinance on the capital markets by selling our bonds for long periods. That’s the advantage of the EIB. The Irish have known what to do with the money they have borrowed from us.”

Trade tensions

In parallel with delivering this positive news, Mr Hoyer sounded warnings on Brexit, the rise of populist political parties in the EU, and the growth of global trade tensions.

On Brexit, Mr Hoyer said: “Obviously, this is the most stupid decision since [Roman emperor] Caligula named his horse a consul in Rome 2,000 years ago. Brexit is Brexit, that’s what the British people are learning the hard way.”