‘Natural catastrophe’ fund sends 37.5 million euros Portugal’s way

The European Parliament has today approved a €37.5 million ‘packet’ for Portugal from its European Solidarity Fund, more usually mobilised to help countries affected by natural catastrophes.

Explain reports this morning, Germany, Ireland, Greece, Spain, Croatia and Hungary will also be receiving their own ‘packets’, designed to help them “face the sanitary emergency of Covid-19”.

The best part of this news is that the money should be arriving ‘soon’ – which can’t be said for the European ‘bazooka’ of funding that has been (temporarily) held up by wrangles with Hungary and Poland (on the requirement that Member States have to operate under the Rule of Law to qualify for Brussels’ aid).

Said TSF radio, Portugal presented its bid for help from the Solidarity Fund back in June, when it told reporters that it was actually asking for “support for eligible expenditure of €3.5 billion”. On that basis, €37.5 million falls very short.

In the June request, the government included State expenses relating to “medical equipment and devices, laboratory analyses, PPE and the reinforcement of means within the SNS health service and network for Continuous Care”.

As TSF explains, the Solidarity Fund has never before been used to held countries through a sanitary crisis, but the ‘chaos’ this year has created prompted the decision to make an exception.

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