ZAGREB,В 2 Feb (Hina) – An agreement on lending в‚¬400 million to Croatia for the upgrade of its rail system was signed in Zagreb on Friday by Finance Minister Marko Primorac and the Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), Teresa Czerwinska
The funds will be used to reconstruct 500 kilometers of local and regional railways and rebuild 30 railway stations.
“The loan is part of the EIB’s largest lending operation for Croatia to date, amounting to в‚¬900 million in approved financing for the railway sector,” the bank says on its website.
Minister Primorac said at the ceremony that the government remained committed to investing int infrastructure and infrastructural projects.
Sift from roads to rail
This loan is part of the EIB’s €900 million scheme which was approved for providing favorable long-term funding, alongside EU grants, to boost sustainable transport and a shift from roads to rail and thus significantly improve safety for passengers, while reducing traffic congestion, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
The total grants for this purpose, which include also funding from the state budget and the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP), total €2.6 billion, Primorac said.
Investing into the rail infrastructure will facilitate the efforts made to ensure green transition, reduction of greenhouse gases and the construction of sustainable transport system, he underscored.
Since 2001 to date, the EIB has approved funding in the amount of €7.7 billion for Croatia, said the finance minister.
Addressing the ceremony, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Oleg Butkovic said that all that is part of plans for “the decade of investments into railways”.
Czerwinska said “this is the largest EIB financing ever agreed since the start of our operations here”.