BRUSSELS (Dec. 10)
Israel will receive a $46 million 12-year loan from the European Investment Bank, 60 percent of which will go to industrial development, with the remainder used to finance environmental projects.
The bank, based in Luxembourg, is the financial arm of the European Community. Since 1978, it has provided Israel with $1.7 billion in loans, which have been used to finance 65 projects in chemicals, the food industry and plastics.
The loans have been credited with creating more than 2,000 new jobs in Israel.
The bank lends the money to the Industrial Development Bank of Israel, which is an important source of long-term financing for local industry.
While 60 percent of the new round of loans will help industries finance new projects, the Israeli government puts a high priority on improving the environment.
Projects in that area include the treatment of industrial waste, monitoring atmospheric pollution and maintaining a clean water supply.
Improving the efficient use of water resources is also considered an environmental measure by the Israeli government.
The 12-year loan will be granted in the framework of the third financial protocol concluded between Israel and the E.C.