“To date, 12 first aid payments have been made, totaling 82 million euros, to 20,794 of our flood-affected fellow citizens. In households, businesses, livestock units and agricultural holdings”, said Mr Deputy Minister of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection, Christos Triandopoulosduring a briefing from Larissa, adding that the first aid process is proceeding at the same intensive pace, through the arogi.gov.gr platform.

As he said, of the total amount, 62.3 million euros concern first aid for household goods, basic necessities and housing assistance and he added that “19.8 million euros concern first aid to businesses, agricultural holdings and livestock units. Of this amount, approximately 14 million euros were credited to more than 6,500 farmers and breeders.”

In addition, Mr. Triandopoulos stated that as long as data comes from the Region, the payments of the first aid will proceed and he added that as long as data is submitted by ELGA, the payments of the first aid for the losses in fixed capital will proceed.

“Historically, it is the largest amount that has been allocated as aid after a natural disaster, in such a short time, to such a large number of beneficiaries, in such a wide spread of the natural disaster and, in fact, after specific checks and cross-checks. And, of course, this amount will increase, as the needs of the citizens are great. As the disaster is great, that’s why everyone involved is working intensively,” he noted.

To date, the Ministry of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection has carried out more than 32,000 autopsies, both census and re-checks, in more than 330 communities. As Mr. Triandopoulos underlined, the work of the services in the field continues, for the implementation of the scheme of housing assistance, but also of the temporary housing of our fellow citizens, while he emphasized that the work of checks and cross-checks with regard to the requests on the platform also continues of first aid, so that the aid reaches all beneficiaries.

Mr. Triandopoulos underlined that the 60,469 finalized applications on the platform do not all correspond to beneficiaries.

“Quite often, the applications are submitted for cases that are not covered by the prescribed framework, the applications are accompanied by irrelevant documents, the applications concern unrelated cases from those recorded by the procedure. Applications that do not progress through the checks and cross-checks process. And the applications of our fellow citizens who are entitled to state aid are proceeding. And this will continue at the same intensive pace, in a framework of cooperation with everyone”, he pointed out.

At the same time, the implementation of all the components of the state aid framework continues.

As regards businesses, but also agricultural holdings, the state aid framework is strengthened. A framework implemented in collaboration with the Region, with the State Aid Committees of the Region, but also ELGA.

“We are proceeding with structural movements, with a forward-looking direction, so that the subsidy of 70% of the estimated damage is given to the many thousands of businesses and agricultural holdings with losses in the fixed capital as quickly as possible”, pointed out Mr. Triandopoulos.

Specifically as he said:

• An administrative support office for the State Aid Committees is formed in each Regional Unit.

• Administrative support structures are also being created in the ministry’s central services to handle the large volume of cases.

• It is proposed, with the granting of extraordinary funding, to staff the State Aid Committees of the Region with contracted experts in the fields of finance and agriculture.

• The grant of half of the final grant, i.e. 35% of the estimated damage, followed by the first aid, is being routed, with rapid procedures.

“The big goal is to complete as quickly as possible the payment of the final grant to the thousands of businesses and agricultural holdings with losses in fixed capital. Finally, as regards businesses, but also agricultural holdings, we must note that, in addition to horizontal measures, targeted measures are also being launched. Targeted measures for affected areas with significant tourist traffic and activity. Targeted measures towards specific sectors, but also local markets. Targeted measures towards specific rural areas, but also productions with medium-long-term loss of production and income. Measures planned with the relevant ministries are being prepared and will be announced in a short period of time”, he noted.

Regarding the housing of our fellow citizens who have been affected, the implementation of all measures is progressing, as he said.

Specifically as he said:

• The scheme of temporary housing is progressing, with rent or cohabitation subsidies, up to 500 euros, through the arogi.services.gov.gr platform.

Allowance for properties unsuitable for use (those marked as “yellow” or “red”) for up to two years, until – essentially – the house is ready.

Allowance for properties with relatively minor damage (those designated as “green”) that are, however, not possible to inhabit due to the extreme flooding phenomenon, which – in exceptional cases – can reach up to one year.

At the same time, the municipalities are provided with cottages for use by our fellow citizens, where the conditions and conditions allow it.

• The scheme of housing assistance was also activated, for damages to houses and other buildings.

With the coverage from the state aid concerning the case of houses that have been characterized:

as “green”, with the aid reaching up to 18,000 euros,

as “yellow”, with the aid being able to reach up to 42,000 euros, and

as “red”, with the aid being able to reach up to 120,000 euros.

At the same time, a special procedure is foreseen so that the houses and other buildings made of cobblestones that have been deemed temporarily unsuitable (“yellow”) can be reconstructed (as “red”).

• GDAEFK information offices were also created in each Regional Unit that are already operating.

• It was decided to set up a Disaster Recovery Sector for the Region of Thessaly.

In addition, he emphasized that the work of the echelons in the field continues throughout Thessaly.

“The motto of the state aid is, ‘Beside the citizens who are tested by natural disasters.’ This motto is not accidental, nor does it arise effortlessly. It is our goal and the work we are called to carry out in the face of every natural disaster that affects homes, businesses, agricultural holdings, livestock units, for many the efforts of a lifetime. For this reason, we are in the field from the first moment, next to the citizens, from the first hours, to record the disasters and activate support measures for the affected, immediately. Directly, but also fairly. I have said it several times and from the first moment, in all directions, that the first aid will go and will be directed to the citizens who really deserve it and to achieve this we are working intensively and with special care “, underlined Mr. Triandopoulos.

At the same time, he noted that the first aid platform will remain open for submitting applications until Tuesday, October 31.

“It is closed due to a necessary cross-checking and clearing process in relation to the applications submitted so far, and will reopen in a later phase. This does not mean that first aid payments stop. On the contrary, they will continue with the same and as fast as possible,” he stressed.

Finally, he underlined: “We will continue to work intensively for the rehabilitation and support of those affected. We continue the hard work, until our country gets back on its feet and continues the path of development it was marking before the manifestation of the phenomenon. We are here and we stand by you.”