BRUSSELS (AP) – The European Union has approved (EURO)670 million ($850 million) to help Italy’s Emilia Romagna region recover from this year’s back-to-back earthquakes, despite its disagreement on other budgetary issues.
Tuesday’s approval by the 27 member states came after pressure from the European Parliament, which had called foot-dragging on the issue shameful.
The earthquake aid was part of the protracted 2012-2013 EU budget negotiations, which hit a stalemate last week.
An attempt to rescue the talks failed Tuesday, but in a show of goodwill toward Italy, the meeting of budget ministers let the earthquake aid pass.
Twenty-four people died in two temblors that struck the agricultural and industrial region in May.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)