Ionian Islands Gets €1.65m in EU Earthquake Aid

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras with European Parliament President, Martin Schulz

Parliament approved €1,651,834 in EU Solidarity Fund aid on Tuesday to help Greece to repair damage caused by an earthquake that hit the Ionian Islands region, and in particular Lefkada, northern parts of Ithaki and Kefalonia, on 17 November 2015.

The earthquake measured 6.1 on the Richter scale. Two people lost their lives, eight were wounded, and 120 houses were damaged. The Greek authorities reported extensive damage to infrastructure networks, buildings and cultural sites, with some of the most important tourist beaches destroyed on Lefkada.

The aid will help restore infrastructure, reimburse the cost of emergency measures and cover some of the clean-up operations. In April, Greece was paid a 10% advance on the expected aid. The Council of Ministers approved the funding on 20 September.

The European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) was set up to respond to major natural disasters and express European solidarity to disaster-stricken regions within Europe. The Fund was created in response  to  severe floods in Central Europe in the summer of 2002. Since then, it has been used for 70 disasters, including floods, forest fires, earthquakes, storms and drought. The EUSF has contributed more than €3.7 billion to 24 European countries to date.

Vote result

646 in favour, 7 against, 23 abstentions

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