22 Feb '11, 3pm

EU ready to loan south Arab neighbours

BRUSSELS: The European Union is ready to loan neighbouring states undergoing democratic reform in its southern Mediterranean rim "six billion euros," the head of its lending arm said Tuesday. "We are ready to do more if necessary to help these countries in their transition towards democracy," European Investment Bank President Philippe Maystadt said of the reform movement sweeping across Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and other states. "We could do something quite meaningful in the next three years," he said, adding that under certain conditions, "we could get to a level of six billion euros for the period from 2011 to 2013." "The priority should be to finance investments which would create jobs," he spelled out. The European Parliament called last week for an increase of one billion for the ceiling that the EIB can loan to the region. If the parliament and the 27 EU governments ag...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world_business...

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