Domenica, 21 Ottobre 2018
BOLOGNA

Italian premier vows 'responses' to Emilia victims

English
© ANSA

Bologna, May 30 - Italian Premier Enrico Letta
visited the northern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna on
Wednesday in memory of a series of lethal earthquakes that
shattered lives, razed buildings and pummeled businesses in May
2012.
"We want to work very hard to give responses" to those hit
by the quakes, said Letta upon his arrival, accompanied by
Emilia-Romagna Governor Vasco Errani and Italian Regional
Affairs Minister.
Last week Letta said he was visiting to "commemorate (the
quake) and accelerate the reconstruction," he said on Twitter.
The first quake, which struck just after 4 am Italian time
on May 20 last year, measured a magnitude of 5.9 and was
followed by a 5.8-magnitude quake on May 29.
These and their aftershocks killed a total of 27 people and
left thousands homeless.
The economy in the area, long a powerhouse of Italian
industrial output, also suffered a huge blow, with the damage
estimated to amount to five billion euros, and shaving roughly
1.0% off of Italy's entire gross domestic product (GDP).
The zone's hobbled agricultural businesses and farms have
yet to see a single euro of relief funds, an agricultural
business association complained last week.
The "enemy" has been bureaucracy, said the Emilia-Romagna
regional branch of Coldiretti in a note.
The European Commission in December gave Italy the green
light to extend 2.66 billion euros in aid to farms and food
processing plants in Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy and the Veneto
region, for the earthquake damage suffered in May 2012.
But the "survey of damage and allocation of funds" was
mired by "an extremely fragmented and complex bureaucracy" of
rules and public administration that have made it impossible for
funds to reach the people and businesses who need them "at a
pace appropriate to the seriousness of the event", explained
Coldiretti.
On the one year anniversary of the first quake last week,
Italian President Giorgio Napolitano said the country was united
by the pain and the memory of the quakes.
"Tragedies of this kind inflict a serious wound on the
entire country, which must unite itself in the pain and in the
memory," said Napolitano in a statement.

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