Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis meets Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met today, in Maximos Mansion, the President of the European Investment Bank Werner Hoyer.

The full dialogue between Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and EIB President Werner Hoyer follows:

Kyriakos Mitsotakis: Well, it’s a pleasure. Pleasure to welcome you once more to Greece. I would like to thank you and the Bank (European Investment Bank) for the continuous support you have offered the country and the Greek economy on its path towards a sustainable recovery. Of course, as we had a chance to discuss, we are now facing momentous challenges with the Russian invasion in Ukraine and significant economic ramifications.

Our main concern – and as we enter a period of intense discussions at the European level – will be how to support households and businesses in dealing with increases in the prices of energy, in particular, electricity. Our views on this topic are very specific. We need to break the linkage between the price of gas and the price of electricity, and we need European support to do that.

If that does not happen, we will have to rely on national funding, which, of course, will put strain on our budgets. But if we don’t manage to reach an agreement, I think it will be a European failure. Because right now, as you can see, in European elections, some of the forces of populism are feeding upon the discontent of citizens with the cost of living. And these are real concerns. They are legitimate concerns. So this, in my mind, is a time for Europe to step up to the plate, as we did with the Recovery and Resilience Fund, and deliver some solution.

And there are options. We can discuss them in more detail. There are options on the table. The first thing is that we need a political commitment that we will address the problem at the European level, and we will not just let member States individually deal with the ramifications. So, again, thank you. Thank you for being here and thank you for all the support.

Werner Hoyer: Well, thank you very much for the very warm welcome extended to us. And it’s a pleasure to be back in Greece, not only because it’s about 20 degrees warmer here than in Luxembourg and brighter, but also because we have a couple of good stories to tell. I mean, this year, 2021, under terrible, terribly difficult circumstances, was one of the best years for the bank in Greece ever. And probably a good experience of Greece with this bank. And we go for continuity. So there is no doubt about that. And there is one issue, of course, that a short-term issue doesn’t need a long-term financier. Which we are. So we need to find solutions, creative solutions, intelligent solutions, in order to be helpful.

Mr Hoyer also updated the Prime Minister on the EIB’s emergency “Solidarity Package for Ukraine” and reiterated that the European Investment Bank stands ready to provide additional financing in order to reduce the impact of the war on Greece. The meeting was also attended by the Deputy Minister of Development and Investments Yiannis Tsakiris and the chief economic adviser to Greece’s PM, Alexis Patelis.