Budgets Committee backs EU Solidarity Fund aid for France and Portugal

EU Solidarity Fund aid to repair storm damage in France and Portugal was approved by the Budgets Committee on Thursday. The February 2010 storms flooded large parts of France's Charente-Maritime and Vendée regions, leading to 53 deaths, and caused landslides and severe flooding on the Portuguese island of Madeira. The EU contributions are €35,635,750 for France and €31,255,790 for Portugal.

France applied for EU Solidarity Fund aid after the "Xynthia" storm  hit the Atlantic coastal areas of Charente-Maritime and Vendée, killing 53 and injuring almost 80 people. Xynthia led to widespread flooding of residential areas, and severely damaged dams and dykes, public and private infrastructure, road and train networks, business and agriculture. The French authorities estimate the total direct damage at €1,425 million. The EU aid to be mobilised for France amounts to €35,635,750.

Portugal applied for EU Solidarity Fund aid after February 2010's abnormal rainfall on the island of Madeira triggered landslides and severe flooding, damaging public and private infrastructure, businesses and agriculture. The Portuguese authorities estimated the total direct damage at €1.080 billion. The EU aid to be mobilised for Portugal amounts to €31,255,790.

This aid still needs to be approved by Parliament as a whole, in a plenary vote in December.