The European Commission has proposed aid for Greece worth €1.65 million from the EU Solidarity Fund, following the earthquake in the Ionian Islands in November 2015.
On November 17, 2015, an earthquake reaching 6.1 on the Richter scale and several aftershocks struck the island of Lefkada and the northern parts of the islands of Ithaki and Kefalonia. This disaster severely impacted roads, ports, public buildings, homes, cultural sites and touristic areas.
The aid will help restore infrastructure, reimburse the cost of emergency measures and cover some of the clean-up operations.
Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu said: “The EU Solidarity Fund is one of our strongest symbols of solidarity in times of need. The financial aid will help communities in the Ionian Islands get back on their feet. It will help us rebuild, together, and will revitalize the economic activity in the islands, especially in the tourism sector.”
This proposed aid now has to be approved by the European Parliament and Council.
The EU Solidarity Fund was set up to support EU Member States and Accession Countries by offering financial support after natural disasters, either at national or regional level. The Fund was created in the wake of the severe floods in Central Europe in the summer of 2002. It supplements Member States’ public expenditure to finance essential emergency operations undertaken by the authorities.