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EIB opens Western Balkans regional office in Belgrade

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The European Investment Bank (EIB) opened its Western Balkans regional office in Belgrade on Monday and alloted 325-million euro (430 million dollars) loan for infrastructure projects in Serbia.

A 195 million euro loan was signed for a construction of a new 36 kilometer-long (28 miles) section of so-called Corridor 10 in southern Serbia, a key road route connecting Western and southeastern Europe, EIB said in a statement.

Another loan, worth 90 million euros, was signed for the construction of access roads for a new bridge over the river Sava in the capital Belgrade.

“We have already supported projects in private and public sector with around three billion euros in Serbia,” said EIB President Philippe Maystadt at the official inauguration ceremony of the new regional office in Belgrade.

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Maystadt said that the EIB has financed important projects in infrastructure, energy, but also in the education and health sectors.

Asked whether the crisis in Ireland would have an impact on the western Balkans, Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic said he did not expect “significant” consequences for Serbia.

“We already live in the region with problems in neighboring countries, like Greece, Hungary, Romania so we have somehow got used to survive in this environment,” Cvetkovic said.

Maystadt said EIB also did not see “any impact for the moment.”

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“There is stability and continuity in the management of public finances,” he said.

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