Prime Minister Promises to Help People Hit by Earthquake

Prime Minister Promises to Help People Hit by Earthquake
From left, Labour Minister Erik Tomas, Premier Robert Fico and Presov region governor Milan Majersky following the meeting with mayors of municipalities hit by the recent earthquake in the village of Dapalovce on November 3, 2023 (photo by TASR)

        Dapalovce/Bratislava, November 3 (TASR) - Prime Minister Robert Fico (Smer-SD) has promised aid to the people in eastern Slovakia who were affected by October's earthquake, TASR learnt on Friday.
        Fico declared this during his visit to the village of Dapalovce (Presov region), adding that part of the finances has already been allocated for this purpose and the rest will follow once the new government receives a vote of confidence in parliament.
        "If we talk about the total damage caused by the earthquake, which ranges between €8-16 million, I can state that this is a sum of money that the state must deal with. It's not one billion," he stated.
        Fico detailed that the first tranche has been routed through the Labour, Social Affairs and Family Ministry. "That's €800 per household and then €15,000 per village. The second tranche will go through the [prime minister's] reserve [fund]. We earmarked €1.5 million yesterday that has been divided between specific villages," he said.
        The prime minister is waiting for the end of the state of emergency, "when the Interior Ministry will become able to come up with its money", and he also mentioned options for financing via the Restore House programme. "Some of the processes have been frozen, but after the government manifesto is passed, our hands will be untied," he claimed, adding that Presov Region governor Milan Majersky (KDH) has been designated as a liaison between the government and the affected villages.
        Interior Minister Matus Sutaj Estok (Voice-SD) apologised to the village's inhabitants on behalf of the state, stressing that the state has failed them when it was unable to provide immediate aid. "We want to amend the entire crisis management system so as to make the state pro-active for the public benefit and not leave it in the hands of local governments, which were the only functioning units of governance over the previous three and a half years," he declared.