Finance Minister Harris Georgiades says 269 European Investment Bank loans to small and medium-sized businesses over the last three years have helped the economy rebound from an economic crisis that nearly pushed the island-nation into bankruptcy.
Harris Georgiades said the government-backed loans created 821 new jobs, generated investments of €440 million and helped the economy grow by 0.3% in 2015 and another 0.5% in 2016.
Ten banks disbursed €290.5 million ($346 million) with the average loan being around €1 million. Most of the money — 43%— went to tourism-related businesses.
Georgiades was speaking Wednesday during the signing of another two loan deals with EIB Director Anita Feurstenberg.
Cyprus received a multibillion euro lifeline from creditors in March, 2013 to avoid a banking collapse.