The European Investment Bank on 12 December, 2017, delayed a decision on whether to grant a multi-billion-euro loan to a controversial pipeline, after the bank’s board insisted it needs more time to assess the project.
As part of the immense costs involved with the project, the authorities in charge are counting on the EIB to grant it the largest loan in the EU bank’s history; some €1.5 billion.
But late yesterday the bank’s board deferred making a decision on the TAP loan, citing a need to look at the project more closely. As such, the loan will not be approved or denied before February next year after already resting on the bank’s books for nearly 2 years.
TAP and the Southern Gas Corridor as a whole have provoked criticism due to their reliance on countries like Azerbaijan and Turkey, despite documented concerns about human rights abuses.
Farmers in southern Italy, where the pipeline is planned to make landfall, have also complained about destructive construction works.