Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2015-04-30-Speech-4-029-000"

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"Madam President, first of all I would like to start by welcoming the EUR 9.3 billion spent by the EIB to promote skills training and employment opportunities for young people and the launch of your Skills and Jobs: Investing in Youth initiative. It is certainly a step in the right direction. While it is positive to hear Mr Hoyer say that the EIB has exceeded its targets of an additional EUR 180 billion investment, youth unemployment still remains unacceptably high and we have to redouble our efforts. In the context of SMEs, we in ALDE believe they should be the main target for investment. However, I am pleased to see that my suggestion on midcaps is part of the report. Your focus on midcaps, through your Midcap Initiative and Growth Finance Initiative, is important, as many SMEs of course want to grow to be midcaps. But I also want to mention one particular EIB instrument, and that is the Microfinance Facility. Recently, I took the opportunity to visit the microfinance offices in Dublin, in Ireland, and I was really pleased to see that Microfinance Ireland had already supported 1 000 jobs in its second year in operation, and they have targeted a further 1 000 jobs by the end of this year. Over 430 microenterprises with fewer than ten employees have benefited from loans, and what is really important is that these enterprises were unable to secure funding elsewhere. So that clearly shows the added value of the Microfinance Facility. One other positive aspect was that 75% of the investment was within the regions. Finally, I would like to say that my suggestion on supporting the virtual economy is part of this report and hopefully the EIB will take it into consideration."@en1

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