Extracts from the Midday statement by Johannes HAHN, Member of the EC in charge of Regional Policy on EU Solidarity Fund - A record 670 million EUR for Emilia Romagna:

Type: News   Reference: 88186   Duration: 00:02:00  Lieu: Brussels, Belgium - EC
End production: 19/09/2012   First transmission: 19/09/2012
On 19 September, Johannes Hahn, Member of the EC in charge of Regional Policy, announced the Commission's proposal to allocate EUR 670 million to Italy following two severe consecutive earthquakes and hundreds of aftershocks in the region of Emilia-Romagna during May/June 2012, spreading out into the neighbouring regions of Veneto and Lombardy. The aim of the support, the highest ever amount allocated from the European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF), is to cover the huge costs of restoring essential infrastructure, providing shelter and rescue services as well as protecting the cultural heritage of the region. An application for aid under the EUSF was received from Italy on 27 July 2012, within the deadline of 10 weeks after the first damage was recorded on 20 May 2012. The Italian authorities reported direct damage amounting to EUR 13.3 billion, 3 billion more than the record damage caused by the L'Aquila earthquake in the Abruzzo region in 2009. This amount represents 0.86% of Italy's Gross National Income and exceeds by almost four times the criteria for mobilising the Solidarity Fund of EUR 3.6 billion (i.e. EUR 3 billion in 2002 prices) applicable to Italy in 2012. By far the largest share of the cost of emergency operations (over EUR 465 million) relates to the provision of temporary accommodation for some 43 000 people for up to 3 years. Nearly EUR 90 million relate to repairs of basic infrastructure and over EUR 60 million to the cost of the rescue services.

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TIME DESCRIPTION DURATION
00:00:00 Title 00:00:05
00:00:05 General view of the press room 00:00:04
00:00:09 SOUNDBITE (in English) Johannes Hanh, Member of the EC in charge of Regional Policy: I can tell you today that after examining this application, according our regulations, the Commission has to propose and will propose a contribution of EUR 670 million to cover at least parts of the damages which have occurred. It is so far the biggest amount since the inauguration of the of the EU solidarity fund in November 2010, nearly 10 years ago. 00:00:38
00:00:47 Cutaway of journalists 00:00:04
00:00:51 SOUNDBITE (in English) Johannes Hanh: The money can be used to pay emergencies operations undertaken by public authorities for example rescue services restoring essentially infrastructures providing temporary accommodations, clean up operations and making sure historical sites don't suffer further damage. 00:00:24
00:01:15 Cutaway of journalists 00:00:05
00:01:20 SOUNDBITE (in English) Johannes Hanh: Of course, the solidarity fund is something outside the ordinary budget; we have to ask the budget authorities meaning Parliament and Council to approve the money. Afterwards, we have to ask the Italian authorities about the procedure how the money will be used and if everything goes well, I expect that by the end of the year, early next year, we can transfer this amount. 00:00:32
00:01:52 Cutaway of journalists 00:00:08
00:02:00 End 00:00:00
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