Spain the big winner in EFSI funding

Mariano Rajoy's Spain has benefited the most, to date, from EFSI funding. [European Commission]

Spain has so far benefited the most from the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI). Its SMEs and infrastructure projects have been injected with over €3 billion to date. EURACTIV Spain reports.

According to national data updated in November, which the European Commission intends to publish in the coming days, the European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved EFSI funding for 27 projects.

The projects represent a total investment of €3.2 billion and, according to the executive, should mobilise investment of €21.67 billion.

This figure means that, in absolute terms, Spain has benefited more than any of the other 27 EU member states, just ahead of Italy. However, if you compare the figures with GDP, then the main recipients are Estonia, Slovakia and Greece.

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Of the projects greenlit in Spain by the EIB, 16 are in infrastructure and €2.85 billion has been earmarked for them. Commission estimates say that this injection of capital will lead to around €15.69 billion in additional investment.

Included in this figure is €100 million destined for pharmaceutical company Grifols, which is intended to be used in a research project for new health treatments; the total cost of the investigation will total €241 million.

Redexis Gas will receive €160 million to build new pipelines in rural areas, as part of a project that will cost €325.6 million. Spanish multinational Abengoa will get €155 million for a research programme on biotechnology, water treatment and electric systems based in Andalucía.

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The EIB has also approved a further 11 financing deals for small and medium-sized Spanish companies (SMEs), worth a total of €352 million, intended to attract nearly €6 billion in additional investment.

In this case, funding is allocated to intermediaries who are then tasked with choosing which SMEs are eligible for support.

Hudák: The EFSI is 'driven by demand'

On Thursday (17 November), the European Investment Bank signed a contract with the Kuyavia-Pomerania Voivodeship to help finance the modernisation of a hospital in northern Poland under the EFSI. The EIB’s Vazil Hudák spoke to EURACTIV Poland about the deal.

The EFSI is the main vehicle of the European Investment Plan, aka the Juncker Plan, and is used to mobilise public and private investment in the EU.

So far, the EU28 have contributed €27.5 billion in funding, which is expected to generate total investment of €154 billion, about half of Brussels’ initial target of €315 billion.

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