Help for Andalucia

The Central Government and the Junta de Andalucia have agreed a series of emergency measures to alleviate some of the problems caused by the recent catastrophic and unprecedented storms in Andalucia.

The Emergency Plan was concluded after a two hour meeting at the Moncloa Palace between Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and President of the Junta de Andalucia, José Antonio Griñán, both men accompanied by large delegations of advisers.

The true extent of the storm damage, particularly in the agricultural sector, is not yet quantifiable as many areas of crops are still under water.

It has, however, been agreed to provide funds for the emergency repair of infrastructure, basic services and the cleaning of beaches in preparation for the upcoming Holy Week holiday period. The worst hit beaches are in the provinces of Cádiz and Huelva where the storms were at their most destructive.

Road and rail infrastructure at all levels -state, regional, provincial and municipal- will be repaired as a matter of urgency with the State funding 50% of such repairs. In Andalucia alone, the cost of repairs to the road and rail network is put at around €205 million.

For damage to the agriculture and fisheries industries, a working committee will be set up to assess the impact of the storms on crops not covered by farm insurance or where no value can yet be assessed due to the fact that the crops are still under water.

Other measures being considered relate to agricultural subsidies and the deferment of Social Security assessments for agricultural workers.

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