Compensation for residents of the island of Skopelos for losses sustained as a result of extreme weather conditions

25 September 2015
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 130
Notis Marias (ECR)

The Thessaly regional authorities have recently declared a state of emergency on the island of Skopelos, which has been afflicted by severe weather conditions causing damage on an unprecedented scale.

Dozens of parked vehicles were swept away and destroyed by floodwater, resulting in apocalyptic scenes of destruction.

The extent of the damage can be judged by the fact that torrents of water swept vehicles into the sea or into gaping craters in the roadway. A number of roads were totally destroyed, while the harbour also sustained severe damage. Dozens of homes and shops were flooded and had to be pumped out by the fire services.

In view of this:

What measures can be approved by the Commission to assist the residents of Skopelos afflicted by these severe weather conditions and offset the damage sustained as a result? When can this be done?

Source: European Parliament

Joint answer given by Ms Creţu on behalf of the Commission
Written questions: E-013125/15 , E-013126/15 , E-013592/15
In the event of serious natural disasters, the European Union Solidarity Fund, which has been established by the Council Regulation (EC) No 2012/2002 of 11 December 2002(1), may be mobilised to help Member States bear the cost of emergency and recovery operations. The Fund may however only intervene following to an application by the competent national authorities of the affected Member State within 12 weeks after the first occurrence of damage as a consequence of the natural disaster and if total direct damage exceeds a threshold, according to Articles 2 and 4. For a ‘major natural disaster’ the threshold is 0.6% of gross national income (i.e. EUR 1 091 billion for Greece). For a ‘regional natural disaster’, the threshold is 1.5% of regional GDP at NUTS 2 level. The Island of Skopelos is part of the Thessalia NUTS 2 region for which the threshold is EUR 148.6 million. The municipality of Kassandra is part of the Kentriki Makedonia NUTS 2 region for which the threshold is EUR 421.4 million. It should be noted that essential emergency and recovery operations as defined in Article 3 paragraph 2 are eligible to receive financial contribution in case of activation of the Solidarity Fund. Therefore, private losses may not be compensated by the Solidarity Fund.

Source: European Parliament

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