EU eyes €200bn growth plan

2012-04-30 09:31

Madrid - The European Union is working on a plan to pump €200bn in investment into infrastructure, green energy and high technology, Spanish daily El Pais said on Sunday, quoting unnamed European sources.

The daily said the plan was due to be unveiled at an EU summit in June along with options to finance it ranging from recapitalising the European Investment Bank to issuing eurobonds, investment vehicles or setting up a European infrastructure agency.

“If the markets allow no leeway, then we need to fall back on imagination to return to growth policies. Institutional investors want attractive options to be presented to them, and with the EU stamp all this money would be channelled into European projects,” El Pais quoted an EU source as saying.

El Pais said one option was to ask member states to contribute €10bn in order to recapitalise the EIB, which would boost its lending capacity by €60bn, which would in turn pave the way for €180bn in investments.

Another alternative described in the paper was using €12bn left over from the European Financial Stability Mechanism (EFSM) - after bailing out Greece, Ireland and Portugal - as leverage to raise up to €200bn from the private sector.

The €12bn remainder could also be used as “hybrid capital” for the EIB to back public-private partnerships in infrastructure spending financed by project bonds, the paper added.