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Italy is not left alone after the earthquakes

Commissioner Crețu visits Italy as President Juncker reiterates the EU's readiness to support the reconstruction process after the earthquakes.

© European Union 2017 Marco Zeppetella

Since Thursday 9 February, Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Crețu is in Italy to express the EU's support for the reconstruction process after the earthquakes.

She visited the historical site of Pompeii, which is being restored with the support of the European Regional Development Fund. The Commissioner also held a Citizens' Dialogue in Naples with Claudio de Vincenti, Minister for the Territorial Cohesion and Mezzogiorno, and met the Presidents of the regions of the South of Italy.

On 10 February the Commissioner participated in a conference on the future of Cohesion Policy in the city of Science in Naples.

Yesterday, Commissioner Crețu travelled to the region of Umbria, which was affected by the earthquakes of August and October 2016 and of January 2017, and visited the towns of Perugia and Norcia
 "My visit to Italy is a symbol of solidarity, when the country has again been hit by an earthquake last month. As President Juncker said, we will stand by Italy throughout the reconstruction process and EU funds will help. I had the opportunity to visit the Basilica of San Benedetto in Norcia, which I hope will soon be restored to its former beauty with the support of Cohesion Policy funds", said Commissioner Crețu.

President Juncker has written to the Mayor of Norcia to recall the Commission's readiness to provide support, as well as to recall what has been made available so far, including the Commission's commitment to co-finance the construction of the San Benedetto basilica. "I want to express my admiration for the resilience of the population of Norcia, hit repeatedly by earthquakes and for their determination to move forward. I follow very closely the follow up to my announcement concerning the EU's contribution to the reconstruction of the Cathedral of Saint Benedetto and will be happy to visit the town once the reconstruction work is in progress," the President wrote.

In November 2016, the Commission had proposed to fully fund reconstruction operations under Structural Funds programmes, with an amendment to the Cohesion Policy regulation introducing an EU co-financing rate of up to 100% for reconstruction operations linked to natural disasters. It also announced a first disbursement of aid worth €30 million under the EU Solidarity Fund to support Italy after the earthquakes.

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