A new guarantee fund for Greek enterprises
EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn, in Athens on 21 March, added another element to boost growth by launching a new Guarantee Fund for Small and Medium-Sized enterprises (SMEs) for Greece. This new facility, agreed in cooperation with the European Investment Bank (EIB) will help SMEs which have been worst hit by the crisis to access credit, by providing the banks in Greece with sufficient liquidity. This is another step to assist the country in optimizing the use of EU Structural Funds: some €500 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) will guarantee loans with an expected leverage of €1 billion through EIB loans to SMEs. Banks will act as intermediary bodies.