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European Commission to pay €88.9 million as first disbursement to help Zagreb

Zagreb after the March 22 quake (Photo: HINA/Damir SENČAR)

ZAGREB, Aug 11 (Hina) – The European Commission on Tuesday announced the first disbursement of financial aid worth €88.9 million under the EU Solidarity Fund (ESUF) as aid for Croatia following the earthquake that struck Zagreb in March this year, the EU said on its web site.

Croatia will receive an advance payment in the next few days and it is the highest ever paid out of the EUSF. In the meantime, the Commission is completing its analysis of the request submitted by the Croatian authorities and will propose a final amount of aid to be approved by the European Parliament and the European Council.

With these funds the Commission supports Croatia in is efforts to help its residents and to re-establish the most important infrastructure and services, the press release said.

In July, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic announced the advance payment of €89 million, adding that he expects “a little more than €500 million,” after that.

“Today’s decision aims at alleviating the heavy burden this has had on the country and shows once again the EU solidarity in such difficult times,” said Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, as carried by the press release.

The EUSF was established in 2002 as a form of financial support to EU member states after severe natural disasters. The Fund has been used for 88 disasters, covering a range of catastrophic events including floods, forest fires, earthquakes, storms and drought, the press release notes.

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