The European Commission has pledged 670 million euros in assistance for parts of Italy that were severely damaged by deadly earthquakes last spring.
The assistance is earmarked primarily for the Emilia Romagna region, with some aid also promised for the Veneto region and neighboring areas in Lombardy. The funding - the largest amount of aid granted under the European Union Solidarity Fund - was announced Wednesday by Johannes Hahn, EC Commissioner for Regional Policy.
"We need to help this highly productive region get back on its feet," said Hahn. A series of earthquakes in May and June killed 27 people and caused damage estimated at 1% of Italy's GDP, wrecking the Emilia Romagna region's prized biomedical and agro-food hubs.