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Governor Wenzel in Cyprus to sign loan agreement for University of Cyprus financing

22 July 2016

Cyprus signature JulyNICOSIA – The Governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), Rolf Wenzel, signed in Nicosia today a € 32 million loan agreement for the financing of extension and renovation work to University of Cyprus (UCy) facilities in Nicosia.

UCy is the largest academic institution in Cyprus and its student intake is expected to increase significantly by 2020. The CEB loan, which was approved by the Bank’s Administrative Council in June 2016, will contribute to a project that entails the extension of facilities of the main Athalassa campus, the renovation of the Academia campus, and the upgrading of the Shakoleion Educational Health Centre.

Signing the agreement on behalf of the Cypriot government was Mr Harris Georgiades, Minister of Finance, with whom Governor Wenzel discussed current and future cooperation between Cyprus and the CEB.

This is the second loan that the CEB grants to UCy, the first having been approved in 2001 in the amount of around € 72 million.

Governor Wenzel said: “This is an important project for Cyprus. It will not only improve the energy efficiency of UCy buildings and create new jobs, but it will also enable the University to admit more students, which means that more Cypriots will be able to pursue their university studies in Cyprus. The CEB is very pleased to be contributing to the financing of this project. Furthermore I would like to thank the Cypriot Government to invite the CEB to hold its annual “Joint Meeting 2017” in Cyprus.”

Minister Georgiades, underlined the excellent cooperation between Cyprus and the CEB and stated: “The economic benefits of the project to society will comprise more scientific research and a better educated population, which will lead over time to more innovation, productivity gains and lower unemployment.

The high quality work environment will further enhance the attractiveness of the University, and thus the quality of applicant professors and students. It may also enhance collaboration with other institutions and promote the development of new research centres.

The contribution of Council of Europe Development Bank with this Loan Agreement comes in a difficult period and is even more important, because CEB financing carries excellent financial terms.”

Since joining the Bank in 1962, Cyprus has had 34 loan requests approved amounting to € 2 billion. The areas which have benefited most from CEB financing are the construction and rehabilitation of public infrastructure, education, protection of the environment, and aid to refugees.

Set up in 1956, the CEB (Council of Europe Development Bank) has 41 member states. Twenty-two Central, Eastern and South Eastern European countries, forming the Bank's target countries, are listed among the member states. As a major instrument of the policy of solidarity in Europe, the Bank finances social projects by making available resources raised in conditions reflecting the quality of its rating (Aa1 with Moody's, outlook stable, AA+ with Standard & Poor's, outlook stable and AA+ with Fitch Ratings, outlook stable). It thus grants loans to its member states, and to financial institutions and local authorities in its member states for the financing of projects in the social sector, in accordance with its Articles of Agreement.

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