Italy's caretaker government agreed on Sunday night (10 May), to provide 200,000 million lira (125 million pounds sterling) towards relief for the country's earthquake disaster area.
Italy's caretaker government agreed on Sunday night (10 May), to provide 200,000 million lira (125 million pounds sterling) towards relief for the country's earthquake disaster area. The funds were voted at a meeting of senior ministers, chaired by the Prime Minister, Aldo Moro.
The decision was taken as Communist criticism of the caretaker Christian Democrat Cabinet over relief was increased. Communist newspapers have cirticised the relief effort in the north east disaster area, and the matter may now become a political issue.
Officials of the Udine Prefecture estimated the death toll to be 915, with some 400 other people still unaccounted for. The said that the figures were based on the latest information to reach them on Sunday evening.
Prime Minister Moro appealed on television on Sunday for the relief effort not to become an issue inthe election campaign. General elections will be held in Italy next month. He said that neither resources nor effort would be lacking in bringing the earthquake-struck zone back to normality. He said that biased speculation and excessive criticisms contrasted sharply with the gravity of the time throughout which the country was now living.
The Communist party daily newspaper L'Unita alleged that relief organization for the thousands of homeless was inadequate, and that officials were attempting to play down the situation. Another left-wing newspaper said that bureaucratic delays were holding up the vaccination programme in the area.
There are now estimated to be 50,000 people without homes, of whom about 25,000 have been given accommodation in tents and in 125 railway coaches sent over from Trieste.
SYNOPSIS: It is now estimated that more than ten thousand dwellings were destroyed in the earthquake in northern Italy. In the Gemona area about six thousand people are believed to have lost their jobs because of the disaster, and as rescue workers continued to clear the rubble, the official death toll rose to eight hundred and fifty. Adding to the difficulties of rescuers are landslides blocking many roads.
On Sunday night, the caretaker government of Prime Minister, Aldo Moro, agreed to provide 200 thousand million lira towards relief aid. But the decision was taken against a background of increased criticism of the relief effort from Communist newspapers. The Prime Minister appealed in a television broadcast on Sunday night for the relief effort not to be made an issue in the general election campaign. Italy goes to the polls next month.
Premier Moro said that neither resources nor effort would be lacking in bringing the disaster area back to normality. He said that biased speculation and excessive criticism contrasted sharply with the gravity of the time through which the country was living. Communist newspapers, meanwhile, have alleged that the relief organisation for the thousands of homeless has been inadequate,and that officials have been trying to play down the situation in the area.