EIB signs 180 million euro loan to fund new Greek airport

The European Union's lending arm, the European Investment Bank (EIB), signed a 180-million-euro ($199.69 million) loan deal with Greece to help it pay its share for a new airport on Crete, the country's biggest island.

Greece has been upgrading its airport facilities to handle an increasing number of tourists visiting the country, one of the world's top holiday destinations.

Last year Ariadne Airport Group, a joint venture between India's GMR Airports and Greek contractor GEK Terna, was awarded the contract to build the new 520-million-euro airport in Kasteli, Crete.

The group will hold a 54% stake in the build-operate-transfer project, with Greece taking up the rest. The new facility will replace Crete's Heraklion airport which struggles to handle 8 million passengers annually, mainly tourists.

Since 2009, Greece has made several attempts to find...

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