Situation in Italy after the earthquakes
Question for oral answer O-000141/2016
to the Commission
Rosa D'Amato, Laura Agea, Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Isabella Adinolfi, Rolandas Paksas, Daniela Aiuto, Piernicola Pedicini, David Coburn, on behalf of the EFDD Group
On 24 August 2016 a devastating earthquake hit central Italy. Later, three other major quakes, within a flurry of tremors, struck central Italian regions, respectively on 26 October with magnitude 5.5 and 6.1, and on 30 October with magnitude 6.5. More than 400 people were reportedly injured and 290 killed in these earthquakes, while a possible ‘domino effect’ could lead to 100 000 residents being displaced.
The territories concerned suffer from a deformation that extends over an area of about 130 square km with a maximum displacement of at least 70 cm. Consequently, the quakes have destroyed towns, seriously damaged local and regional infrastructure, ruined historical and cultural heritage, and disrupted economic activities especially for SMEs and agriculture, as well as tourist and gastronomic potential. The latest earthquake, that of 30 October, was the strongest tremor to hit the country in more than three decades, entailing the total flattening of entire villages and bringing many of the inhabitants of the affected areas to the brink of despair.
In addition, the harsh weather of the forthcoming winter season will represent a major concern for the large numbers of displaced persons, which needs to be addressed quickly and effectively in order to ensure decent living conditions for those who have been made homeless.
Given this context, the Commission is called on to answer the following questions:
– Has the Commission received an application for European Solidarity Fund money from the Italian government? If so, has it taken all the necessary measures for assessing it promptly and mobilising support, with a view to helping the Italian national and regional authorities involved in relief efforts following the disaster?
– Would the Commission consider requests for the amendment of the Italian National and Regional Operational Programmes, in order to better address the issues of Thematic Objective 5 (‘promoting climate change adaptation, risk prevention and management’), should Italy duly justify those requests in accordance with Article 30 of the Common Provisions Regulation?
– Could the Commission examine the existing procedures for analysing applications for funding, with the aim of simplifying procedure and reducing the time periods for approval and disbursement of financing from the European Solidarity Fund?