At an extraordinary meeting, the Italian government approved more than two billion euros in aid to the flood-affected regions of Emilia-Romagna and Marche. The aid will be used, among other things, for the reconstruction of farms, schools, medical institutions and the tourism industry.
“Our first measure foresees aid of more than two billion euros for the areas affected by the floods. We are clearly aware that this is an emergency situation and that a reconstruction phase will follow, in which we cannot yet determine the full extent of needs and damage,” is at a joint press conference with the president of the Emilia-Romagna region, Stefan Bonaccini said the Italian Prime Minister Giorgio Meloni.
She assured that the aid will be used, among other things, for the reconstruction of farms, schools, medical facilities and the tourism industry, according to the decree, the deadline for paying taxes and social security contributions in the affected areas will be postponed until August 31.
The package will also include a one-time payment of up to 3,000 euros for self-employed workers who cannot perform their work due to extraordinary circumstances, while full-time employees who have lost their jobs are entitled to three months of extraordinary compensation. The government will spend about 300 million euros for this, reports the Italian press agency Ansa.
Bonaccini meanwhile warned that they will have to bundle to follow further measures to solve the consequences of emergency situations, and he estimated the damage at several billion euros. “There are 300 active landslides, entire forests have been destroyed, and rivers remain problematic.” he added.
As RTV Slovenia correspondent from Italy Janko Petrovec reported, the damage is around six billion euros. Today’s government decree foresees EUR 175 million in aid to farmers, EUR 300 million in aid to exporters and EUR 20 million to finish the school year. Emilia-Romagna is densely populated, but at the same time one of the engines of the Italian economy and agriculture: it is the land of the car, plastic and packaging industry; the land of ingredients for prosciutto, parmesan and pasta; the land where the most Italian cherries, peaches, apricots and pears grow – the list is long, Petrovec also reported.
Action by climate activists
Climate activists from the group Ultima Generations (The last generation) smeared themselves with mud from the flooded areas at the entrance of the Senate in Rome today and warned that the floods in Italy are the result of climate change. They also criticized the president of the Italian Senate Ignacia La Russo, who recently said that activists should help clean up flooded areas, not protest, German news agency DPA reported.
“It was an attempt to propagandize and blame those who are demanding serious policies to prevent such tragedies from happening again,” the group said in a statement. The police have already dispersed the rally of activists.
In the floods and landslides that hit the Emilia-Romagna region after the storm last week, 14 people have died so far, and tens of thousands of people have had to leave their homes. The weather and hydrological forecast for the coming days is bad, as the region is threatened with further heavy rainfall.