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Deadline for drawing flood-damage funds to be extended

The Environment and Finance Ministries want to modify a special system, set up last year to help municipalities affected by flooding, to allow towns and villages to continue drawing already-earmarked funds. As the rules stand, municipalities can draw the allocated €12.95 million which the Environment Ministry transferred to regional environment offices only until the end of March this year.

The Environment and Finance Ministries want to modify a special system, set up last year to help municipalities affected by flooding, to allow towns and villages to continue drawing already-earmarked funds. As the rules stand, municipalities can draw the allocated €12.95 million which the Environment Ministry transferred to regional environment offices only until the end of March this year.

However, some municipalities will not manage to draw all the money by this deadline, Environment Ministry spokeswoman Beatrice Hudáková told the SITA newswire, explaining the ministry's effort. Regional environment offices framed contracts based on last year's cabinet ruling which bound municipalities to use up earmarked resources by the end of March at the latest. This mostly concerns the regional environment offices in Košice and Prešov, affecting 56 and 80 villages respectively, but also other villages which have not managed to draw funds to address damage to property after floods in 2009 and between January 1 and August 31, 2010. The extension will apply to almost half the earmarked sum, approximately €7.5 million, Hudáková added.

The Environment Ministry will shortly request that the relevant regional environment offices return unspent funds to the ministry's account, which will then forward them to the Finance Ministry. "We assume that it will be possible to draw the unused financial resources intended for coverage of 30 percent of damage to municipal property within a new deadline, i.e. by December 31, 2011" said Environment Minister József Nagy.

Source: SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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