Loans worth €2.2 billion have been approved by the European Investment Bank (EIB) for a range of infrastructure schemes across the EU.

The move comes as part of wider strategic backing for small-and-medium-sized businesses, which were also granted loans totalling €1.5 billion as part of its latest package of support measures.

This includes up to €600 million to support rail infrastructure across Austria, a total of €325 million for the improvement of electricity distribution systems in Spain and up to €213 million for German motorway widening.

There were also further major EIB loans valued at €1.9 billion for research and development. Among these were €500 million for the improvement of fuel consumption, emissions reduction and efficiency enhancement of vehicles in Germany and €475 million in the Czech Republic.

Spain is also to benefit further, with loans worth up to €515 million for a public research and development programme being approved.

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