EBRD President Chakrabarti in talks with Greek authorities

By Axel  Reiserer

EBRD President Chakrabarti in talks with Greek authorities

Greek PM Alexis Tsipras (left) with EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti (right). © Reuters/ Costas Baltas

Discussions begin about extending Bank’s engagement in the country beyond 2020

  • EBRD President Chakrabarti welcomes progress made in Greece, but much still to be done
  • Highlights strong support for Greek private sector
  • Greek authorities request extension of Bank’s mandate beyond 2020

EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti has visited Thessaloniki and Athens where he met Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Deputy Prime Minister for Economy and Development and EBRD Governor Yiannis Dragasakis, Minister of Finance Euclid Tsakalotos, and Thanassis Savakis, President of the Association of Northern Industries of Greece.

President Chakrabarti said: “In less than two and a half years we have invested €1.6 billion in the Greek economy and Greece has become the fifth largest country in which we invest. This demonstrates what the EBRD can do and illustrates our commitment to the country, one of the founding members of our institution. If our shareholders agree, we are ready to work with the Greek authorities to extend our mandate to support economic recovery.”

Following a decision by its shareholders, the EBRD started investing in Greece in 2015 based on a temporary mandate until the end of 2020. Since the beginning of its operations the Bank has made major contributions to supporting the private sector, developing renewable sources of energy, improving competitiveness and strengthening the regional integration of the local economy.

Recognising the contribution of the EBRD’s activities to Greece’s recent economic recovery and the benefit of further engagement by the Bank, the Greek authorities have requested an extension of the EBRD mandate. EBRD shareholders will vote on the extension at the Bank’s Annual Meeting in May.

All EBRD investments in Greece to date have been in the private sector, and 20 per cent have been equity investments. Notable examples are: the stabilisation of the banking sector with the acquisition of equity stakes in the country’s four systemic banks; a €187 million participation in the modernisation of 14 regional airports led by Fraport; a €300 million framework for renewables; and support for corporates such as Fourlis, Loulis and Mytilineos as well as an equity investment in the real estate developer Dimand. In policy engagement the EBRD is active in developing responses to the continuing issue of non-performing loans.