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£1.8bn aid package announced for flood-hit areas in northern Italy

Italy announced a PS1.8bn package (EUR2bn), to assist the flood-stricken regions of northern Italy, after thousands of people had to leave their homes because of the destruction.

Giorgia Mello announced the investment following a visit to towns in Emilia-Romagna, where floods had claimed 14 lives and damaged many buildings.

Ms Meloni stated that the government is considering increasing the price of admission at state museums by EUR1, as well as creating a lottery to raise money.

The money would be used to repair damaged museums, churches and monuments.


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Italy floods deaths numbers increase

According to Ms Meloni, the assistance package will also include the suspension in the next few months of utility bills and tax payments.

The suspension of mortgage payments will also apply to areas that are considered disaster zones.

The floods caused the loss of many businesses and farms, so PS503m was given to those who were temporarily unemployed. Laptops would be provided to students who could not attend school.

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Ms Meloni stated: “In Italy’s current situation, finding two billion euro in just a few short days is not an easy task.”

The floods caused 36,000 people to be displaced. They also destroyed local agriculture and livestock production.

Stefano Bonaccini, the Emilia-Romagna governor, estimated that road damage costs EUR1bn.

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Thousands of homes evacuated due to flooding

The tourism industry in the region was also affected by the damage to beach resorts on the Adriatic Sea.

Even though rescue teams and volunteer workers had tried to remove sludges of mud and water from streets and buildings, Ms Meloni still found that about 10,000 people were unable to return to their homes when she toured the area on Sunday.

Bonaccini expressed his gratitude for the package’s approval, but also noted that the region still “has many wounds” and would continue to do so for some time.

He said, “There are people that have lost everything or almost everything.”

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