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  2. English
  3. Politics
  4. Europe is with you says Von der Leyen in flood zone

Europe is with you says Von der Leyen in flood zone

EC chief flies over devastated area with Italian Premier Meloni

(ANSA) - ROME, MAY 25 - European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen said that she had visited Emilia Romagna on Thursday to show that the region and Italy have the EU's full support after last week's devastating floods that claimed 15 lives.
    "I'm here to send a very clear message - Europe is with you," Von der Leyen told a new conference in Bologna.
    Von der Leyen was speaking after flying over the areas hit by the floods and landslides caused by torrential rain with Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni and Emilia Romagna Governor Stefano Bonaccini.
    "I think it was important for von der Leyen to see with her own eyes the extent of the problem and the multifaceted problems," Meloni said.
    "The European Union's support can be very important at this stage.
    "We will make the request for the activation of the Solidarity Fund in the coming weeks, having made an overall assessment of the flood damage.
    "Unfortunately, Italy has already had to access it on other occasions," she added, referring to past disasters.
    Von der Leyen said that it will be possible for Italy to access cohesion funds for the reconstruction as well.
    "It is urgent to get the solidarity fund started, although there are very important rules to be respected," she said "There will be a first payment, then an estimate of the damage to have a clearer idea of the contribution from the EU.
    "This will happen in the next three months.
    "Then we will see what we can do.
    "The main source of EU funding will be the solidarity fund".
    Von der Leyen then visited places hit by the floods, talking to local people, while Meloni returned to Rome for a cabinet meeting to approve more measures to help the affected areas.
    On Tuesday the cabinet approved a package of emergency measures worth two billion euros.


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