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Flags are seen behind the logo of the European Investment Bank pictured in the city of Luxembourg, Luxembourg, March 25, 2017. Reuters/Eric Vidal/File Photo

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BUCHAREST, Sept 26 (Reuters) – Romania has asked the European Investment Bank for 4 billion euros ($3.86 billion) to co-finance transport and healthcare investment projects agreed under the country’s European Union recovery funds package, the finance ministry said on Monday.

The east European country could get up to just under 30 billion euros in grants and cheap loans meant to help lift economies from the COVID-19 pandemic. Brussels approved its plan and reform targets last year.

“Following today’s formal request, the EIB will appraise health, metro, railway and roads projects and ensure that potential projects can represent 50% of climate action investment,” the bank said in a statement, adding approval and funding will take place over the next four years.

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EU funds account for most of the 33.1 billion lei ($6.5 billion) the Romanian government has spent on investment projects this year, the finance ministry said.

The country collects budget revenue worth around 30% of gross domestic product, significantly below the EU average of roughly 46% of GDP, and spends most of it on public sector wages, pensions and subsidies.

($1 = 1.0353 euros)

($1 = 5.1088 lei)

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Reporting by Luiza Ilie; Editing by Toby Chopra

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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