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EIB Lends Hungary EUR 150 m for School Infrastructure Upgrades

MTI-Hungary Today 2020.01.23.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) on Thursday signed a 150 million euro loan agreement with Hungary that will support the development and revamp of schools and sports infrastructure for pupils.

The financing will support the construction of eight new schools, 16 school expansions, 20 sport halls, 26 swimming pools and 17 handball halls, Finance Minister Mihály Varga said after signing the loan contract.

The loan is a follow-on of a similar programme signed in 2016 worth 15 billion forints (EUR 44.7m). That programme allowed pupils access to modern sports facilities throughout the country. As in the initial programme, the EIB is expected to co-finance the project with a 50 percent share.

Speaking at a press conference after signing the agreement, Varga said the agreement will put Hungarian economic policy in an increasingly positive light.

Hungary’s financial ratings improved in 2016 and 2019, Varga said. GDP growth was at 5.1 percent in 2018 and is expected around 5 percent in 2019, placing the country among the three fastest growing economies of the European Union.

EIB vice-president Lilyana Pavlova said the agreement served the interests of Hungarian children. She said cooperation between the EIB and Hungary was “excellent”, with loans totalling 9.4 billion euros at the end of 2019. Loans provided for the Hungarian education system reached a total of 911 million euros by last year, she said.

In the featured photo: EIB vice-president Lilyana Pavlova and Finance Minister Mihály Varga. Photo by Lajos Soós/MTI