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Italy to get millions in EU quake aid

Nov. 21, 2012 at 5:58 PM

STRASBOURG, France, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- The European Parliament Wednesday approved $860 million in assistance to Italy for earthquake relief in the Emilia Romagna region.

The vote was overwhelmingly in favor of the assistance package, the Italian news agency ANSA reported. The European Council approved the 670 million euros in aid Tuesday.

The vote was delayed earlier this month when Britain, Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands and Germany blocked it. The money comes from the European Union's solidarity fund.

The two earthquakes, measuring 6.1 and 5.8 on the Richter scale, shook the region in northern Italy on May 20 and May 27. The first quake was followed within hours by two sizable aftershocks.

The quakes killed 27 people, left thousands homeless and damaged or destroyed artworks, buildings and monuments in an area with a historical legacy going back to the Etruscans.

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