The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted the Autonomous Community a loan of 185 million euros that will be used to defray the reconstruction and rehabilitation of buildings and infrastructure affected by the earthquakes of Lorca on May 11, 2011, as properties of use residential, artistic and cultural heritage, roads and educational facilities, among other things.
The loan was signed this Wednesday in Murcia by the vice president of the EIB, Magdalena Álvarez, the president of the regional government, Ramón Luis Valcárcel, and the Minister of Economy and Finance, Juan Bernal, in an act that has also had the presence of the Counselor of Public Works, Antonio Sevilla, the Government Commissioner for the reconstruction of Lorca, Inmaculada García, and the mayor of the municipality, Francisco Jódar.
This money will have to be returned by the Autonomous Community in a period of 15 years and at an interest rate of 2.86 percent, although the loan has a grace period of three years in which the regional government will be exempt from its return.
Valcárcel has congratulated himself for the “advantageous” conditions in which the loan has been signed, which are “assumable” for the Region of Murcia because he recalled that the loan “will be paid by all Murcia, as is natural”.
In this regard, Álvarez stressed that the first attraction of the loan is that it allows obtaining “the necessary liquidity, which today is so difficult to obtain in the markets”. In addition, he recalled that the few loans that are granted have “very difficult conditions to return”, which “weighs down the possibilities for the future”.
He remarked that the attractiveness of credit also lies in the three-year grace period, which allows the Community “to have a breathing space and an ability to obtain income at a better time in the economy”.
Compared to the cost of obtaining this loan; in the markets, he remarked that the Autonomous Community “saves 30 percent on the total amount of credit, ie approximately 57 million euros.” This saving “is going to allow the Community to carry out another series of actions that it could not have undertaken if it had reduced its budgetary resources,” he added.
And it is that the EIB has “the best rating” and obtains financing from the markets under “very favorable” financial conditions. As it is a European and public Bank, it has “no desire or appetite to obtain benefits, but rather the benefit is serving European interests”, Álvarez explained.
Destination of money
Specifically, the vice president of the EIB has stressed that 60 percent of these 185 million euros will be used for the reconstruction of buildings with residential use affected by earthquakes and even the rehabilitation of a neighborhood in its entirety, such as La Viña, which was one of the most affected by the earthquakes.
In this sense, it has been congratulated because this investment will allow the victims “to return to their homes in suitable conditions and with a habitability commensurate with the level that corresponds in the XXI century and, therefore, overcomes adversity.”
Another large group of projects that are going to be covered by this loan are those that have to do with the rehabilitation of the artistic and cultural heritage of Lorca, with the aim that the municipality “once again offer its history, to put it at the service of Lorca, so they can carry out economic activity related to tourism. “
Among the list of historical monuments and buildings to be restored through the Master Plan for the Recovery of the Cultural Heritage of Lorca, the most affected churches and convents are included, among which the church and convent of San Francisco, the Colegio de San Francisco, the Santo Domingo church and the Rosario chapel, as well as the churches of Nuestra Señora del Carmen, San Pedro, Santa Maria, San Juan, San José and San Diego. Also the Artistic and Literary Casino, the palace of the Counts of San Julián, the Torre de Mena in La Hoya or the cloister of Santo Domingo, among others.
He also indicated that the works include the rehabilitation of educational buildings and the acquisition of equipment and furniture for schools, institutes, and other educational institutions. Among these actions is planned the construction of the new Ros Giner Institute, the reconstruction of the old part of the Ramón Arcas institute and the conservatory, as major works.
It also includes the rehabilitation and adaptation of regional roads, such as RM-701 (Lorca-La Parroquia) and RM-621 (Lorca-Purias).
The Mayor of Lorca has remarked that Lorca “won the European Championship on Wednesday, before the semifinal was played”, comparing the granting of the loan with the Eurocopa, since the credit “is like the manna that has come to us in moments of great need. “
“Confidence with the future”
Valcárcel thanked the EIB “their commitment and sensitivity to Lorca, while the confidence shown with the Region of Murcia and its future.” “A future that happens, inescapably, for the recovery of the city of Lorca, its economy and its vitality as head of a large region,” said Valcárcel.
The president of the Region was pleased to consider that the signing of this agreement “represents the solution to many of the problems that Lorca has at the moment”, as well as “the realization that the magnitude of the disaster required solutions in accordance with the economic, social and human impact of the tragedy “.
He also congratulated that this agreement “is a transcendent and decisive financial injection that will allow us to have the necessary resources to carry out, in an urgent and immediate way, important actions of urban reconstruction of the city,” which he described as “one of the three pillars that sustain the Region of Murcia “.
“With these amounts,” Valcárcel said, “the rehabilitation of housing and educational centers, the recovery of urban infrastructures, cultural heritage, and regional roads are being addressed.”
Some actions “absolutely essential”, which, he recalled, “are supported by another loan, granted by the Official Credit Institute, which involves the mobilization, from the Community, of more than 300 million euros to deal with guarantees for reconstruction from the city”. This agreement, the president stressed, “is an injection of money, but also of hope and confidence that we are on the road to the recovery of the city.”
Álvarez stressed that the EIB has financed 2,500 million euros in the Region of Murcia so far, which are divided into actions by the private sector, the regional administration, municipalities and the State in the Community. Of those 2,500 million euros, 800 have been destined only for the regional Administration.
All this money has been used to finance infrastructure projects, the construction of hospitals and the financing of SMEs, has added.