Spain requested assistance from the EU on Monday by the fires of Valencia
Spain on Monday asked the European Union (EU) assistance from the European Solidarity Fund to alleviate the damage caused by fires in the province of Valencia, diplomatic sources said.
The aid will be discussed in the section on business “several” of a Council of Ministers of Agriculture, assisted the owner of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Miguel Arias Cañete.
The document presented by the Spanish delegation, which had access said that the damage “emergency” caused by fire, which has affected “a total area of approximately 52,500 hectares,” could reach 90 million euros.
Also remember that the final balance of the disaster “includes loss of human life and three wounded” and “environmental and material damage on people, infrastructure, agricultural crops and forests of the region (.. .), and generally badly damaged by the effects of the economic crisis. ”
“Do not reaching the threshold to be considered a major disaster, it is considered that this is an extraordinary disaster affecting regional living conditions of the Valencia region with very serious implications on the area,” it said.
Spain warned that as a result of damage, “the region could be affected by a severe degradation of forest ecosystems by rural depopulation and the abandonment of farms, threatening the economic stability of the region and consequently the social and ecological stability. ”
Therefore, seek the help of the Solidarity Fund of the EU, “considering the current economic crisis and the economic, social and environmental benefits to the region faces in restoring normalcy.”
The Solidarity Fund of the EU can be used in natural disasters at a cost determined for the member states.
Its use involves first calculating the costs of the disaster and then meet the community and follow the procedures (approval of the European Parliament and of the twenty-seven), a process that can take months.
The mechanism has been used in previous years to grant aid for forest fires in Greece or Portugal.
On the other hand, explained that European sources also may be allowed in such cases under the common agricultural policy, but “limited” and not allow much room for maneuver.
Within Rural Development aid exists a measure to restore agricultural production affected by a disaster, but the implementation of which would involve retrofitting the current program with existing funding, rather than seeking new funds.
According to sources, such as trying to get the Italian region of Emilia Romagna to alleviate the damage caused by the earthquake last May.
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