IN SHORT

EBRD stops supporting new EU members

THE EUROPEAN Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has halted support for eight new EU member states, including Slovakia.

According to the Pravda daily, the growing economic health of the new EU members means that the bank can move further east with its support.

"Investments in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia and Slovenia will gradually decrease. Next year we will start shutting down our branches and redirecting the money to states that need it more," said Jean Lumierre, the bank's president.

The EBRD was established 15 years ago to help the former communist states in their transitions to market economies. In Slovakia the bank supported small and medium-sized businesses in particular by providing credit to banks and leasing firms and privatized companies.

Starting in 1992 the bank invested €1.1 billion in Slovakia.

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