EIB finance development regions Basilicata and Sicily
Luxembourg, Luxembourg – The European Investment Bank is providing EUR 470 million in three separate loans to the two provinces of the Basilicata Region (Matera and Potenza) and to the Sicily Region.
The loans to the Provinces of Matera and of Potenza, EUR 30 and EUR 40 million respectively, will finance the European interest components of public work programmes.
Investments to be financed are within the framework of the Basilicata Regional Operational Programme supported by EU Structural Funds. They concern the upgrading of local road network as well as of upper secondary school buildings. The projects will enhance the regional infrastructure endowment, currently only at 40% the national average, which seriously hampers economic development.
The 25-year EIB loans will finance 28% of investments totaling EUR 250 million, to be implemented over three years.
Matera Province has a mountainous territory comprising 31 municipalities with 200 000 population altogether. Its 2004 per capita GDP was EUR 13 500 and it ranks 92 amongst 103 Italian Provinces. GDP per capita is around 67% of the Italian and 57% of the EU-15 averages.
Potenza Province has 100 municipalities with over 400.000 inhabitants in total. Its territory is mostly mountains and hills. Potenza ranks 75 among 103 Italian provinces. Per capita income in 2004 (EUR 15,500) was 75% of national average and almost 70% of the EU-15 average.
The Sicily Region has received a EUR 400 million loan to co-finance its multi-sector Operational Programme under the 2000-2006 Community Support Framework. The Programme is worth EUR 10.3 billion and is financed by a mixture of public – EU, State and Regional – and private funds. It consists of Regional Development investment ‘Axis’ and ‘Measures’ in six priority sectors, plus a technical assistance component. Eligible expenditures fall into three main categories:
- infrastructure and physical capital provision and upgrading;
- incentive systems for private sector investment aimed at reinforcing and rationalising productive activities and at creating new enterprises;
- and acquisition of services (consultants, studies) and other operating items as required for the implementation of the programme.
The EIB loan will fund around 30% of the Region’s financial contribution to the financing plan of the Programme.