Czechia

Govt approves distribution of Kc4bn from EU for floods

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PRAGUE, March 26 (CTK) - The government approved today the Finance Ministry's proposal for the distribution of over Kc4bn that the Czech Republic has received from the EU Solidarity Fund for covering damage caused by last year's catastrophic floods, cabinet spokeswoman Anna Starkova said.

Each affected region will thus get the same percentage of the value of damage it has suffered.

The EUR129m (Kc4.087bn) will be distributed as follows: Kc1.095bn for covering the costs of rescue work and liquidation of damage and Kc2.286bn for rebuilding flood-hit areas, with each region to get 3.28 pct of the overall damage it suffered.

Removal of damage to state property is to demand Kc286m. Among those to draw on these funds are water and forest management companies. The use of the remaining Kc420m is to be decided by the government later.

The Finance Ministry got the money from the EU onto its account on Jan 15 and has to draw it within one year, or by Jan 14, 2004. The ministry has therefore proposed that towns and regions should send the last applications by end-Nov 2003.

The Czech Republic is not the only recipient of assistance from the Solidarity Fund, Germany, Austria and France will also get money for the removal of flood damage from this fund. The EC thus distributed a total of EUR728m this year.

Damage after last year's floods in the Czech Republic reached around Kc70bn. The state budget and off-budget funds will spend Kc17bn on flood-damage removal, of which Kc11bn will come from the state budget, including a loan from the European Investment Fund.