Only 14% of damage claims have been submitted
Until on February 29 farmers and breeders affected by the extreme flooding in Thessaly will be able to submit the relevant files to the authorities in Thessaly Regionso that all the procedures for the payment of both the advance payment and the final grant within the framework of the state aid can be launched, according to an announcement by the Ministry of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection.
As stated in the announcement, the ministry and especially the general secretariat of Natural Disaster Recovery and State Aid, put in place from the first moment the framework of state aid, both for agricultural holdings and livestock units affected by the extreme flooding phenomena of September 2023 in Thessaly and in the wider area of Central Greece. It is, as the ministry emphasizes, about the development of a scheme to overcome the gaps and shortcomings of the outdated scheme of the Regulation of State Financial Aids (KOE, formerly PSEA), so that farmers and breeders can receive the support of the state in height and in times, much improved compared to the previous regime characterized by time horizons of four, five and more years.
It is recalled that, according to the relevant recommendation of the government’s state aid committee, the grant amounts to 70% of the estimated damage, as it results from the work of the State aid committees of the Region, following inspection, autopsy and damage assessment. According to the ministry, this is the largest percentage determined to date for a grant after a natural disaster, with the grant covering damage to assets of businesses and agricultural holdings – in particular damage to equipment, raw materials, stored products and in damaged vehicles, but also in land capital.
As for her Thessaly, in the last period the Ministry of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection, following the formation of the relevant tools, but also the approval of the relevant funding, proposed to the Region of Thessaly a series of changes and modifications in the part of the operation of the state aid committees of the Region of Thessaly which are engaged in agricultural holdings, so that the pace of the implementation of the project responds to its large volume, the need to shorten the times and the result that has been achieved for the businesses. In this context, as stated in the announcement, last week, the services and state aid committees of the Thessaly Region were adapted to the proposals in question (new sub-coordinators, two-member levels, restructuring of executives, transfer of files, increase in process digitization, etc. ), in order to settle the irregularities identified in the previous period and to adopt a more flexible and efficient scheme for the task of recording and assessing damages.
“The request, in parallel with the intensive continuation of autopsies by the competent levels of the Region of Thessaly and with additional executive staff, in the next period is to proceed with the submission of the relevant files – with specific, few and reduced compared to previous years supporting documents – from the farmers to the authorities in the Region of Thessaly. With a permanent aim of speeding up the procedures, farmers and breeders are requested to submit the relevant files to the authorities in the Region of Thessaly until February 29, 2024, so that all the procedures for the payment of both the advance payment and the final payment can be launched grant in the context of state aid”, the ministry underlines Climate Crisis and Civil Protection.
It is worth noting that, according to the data of the Region of Thessaly and up to last week, 4,400 files have been submitted by the beneficiary farmers and breeders to the authorities of the Region of Thessaly in a total of 31,420 damage declarations submitted through ELGA in the Region of Thessaly. This is a number of submitted files that correspond to only 14% of the relevant damage declarations in Thessaly, while approximately 20% of the submitted files were filed during the past week.
At the same time, the Ministry of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection continues the implementation of the scheme of first aid – alongside businesses – to agricultural holdings and livestock units. Until now, 33.9 million euros have already been granted to 16,400 agricultural holdings and livestock units, which applied for first aid through the arogi.gov.gr platform and were confirmed by the data of the damage declaration to ELGA. The platform had remained open until January 12, 2024, at which time 1,300 farmers’ applications have been submitted, which are in the process of cross-checking, so that the relevant first aid payments can proceed in the next few days.
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