The Government has estimated the damages and needs to be almost 500 million euros to deal with the consequences of the fires in the area of Pedrógão Grande. € 193 million will be needed to respond immediately to emergency situations encountered on the ground, and an additional € 303 million will be made available to advance measures to prevent and revive the economy, promoting, according to Minister Pedro Marques, initiatives that promote Economic diversity, “for sectors with more added value and less dependent on the forest”.
The balance of losses and announcement of measures to be taken, was made on 3rd July in Figueiró dos Vinhos, after a meeting with the councillors of the seven municipalities affected, and in the presence of the chairman of the Central Zone Coordination Commission, who was the Coordinated this survey and diagnosis.
According to the report, immediate damage requires an emergency response of € 193 million. At stake are 481 affected dwellings, which have suffered total or partial damage, 169 of which refer to first-class housing and almost 46 thousand hectares of burned area, 43,201 of which correspond to forest, grassland and pasture.
According to the Minister of Planning, the State will respond to all these situations, once it is confirmed that there are no insurance to activate. “It should be clear that the answers will be immediate when the insurances cannot be activated. The use of insurance will always be prevalent, “the minister warned.
In the case of housing, the estimated value of damages corresponds to 27.6 million euros. The government report identifies losses still the second housing (205) and vacant housing (117), and the Minister Pedro Marques said that will be opened special lines of credit with interest rates and maturities extended so that they can advance reconstruction In cases identified as non-priority.
With regard to the damage caused by forest fires to the seven municipalities, and according to the survey carried out by the Institute for Nature Conservation, the amount needed to repair damage to private machinery and equipment, loss of wood material and emergency stabilization measures is of 84 million euros.
Regarding business activity, the report points to damages in 49 companies from four municipalities (Pedrógão Grande, Figueiró dos Vinhos, Castanheira de Pera and Góis) and which affected to a greater or lesser extent 374 workers. Of these, 51 have been without jobs, and will see their situation accompanied by the Institute of Employment and Professional Training of Leiria. The volume of losses reached amounts to 27.5 million euros, to which must be added those that were accounted for by Turismo de Portugal of a further 3.6 million euros, which take into account damages in local accommodation units and in some rails and routes, especially in the Schist Villages.
Losses in agriculture were recorded at 19.43 million euros, municipal infrastructure and equipment totaled 21.7 million euros and those of the national road network (whose costs will be borne by Infraestructuras de Portugal and Ascendi, The concessionaire of Pinhal Interior) exceeded 2.5 million euros. To finish the bookkeeping of the losses, it is necessary to point out the 4.5 million euros that were necessary for the mobilization of means to combat this fire.
The Government has made it very clear where it intends to seek funding to repair all these damages. In the case of private dwellings, they will be funds from the State Budget and from the many lines of solidarity that have been created in the meantime, which will serve to answer in the cases of the first dwelling. In other cases, of second housing and devolutions, there must be recourse to credit lines created for this purpose.
Damage to forests, agriculture and other economic activities should be compensated by Community funds. Minister Pedro Marques announced the readiness of the European Commission to make a special reprogramming for the Center’s Operational Program to deal with these new investments. “In terms of business, only support was given to applications in the area of innovation. This has to be changed, and Brussels has already shown openness to it, “the minister explained.
It is also with the help of Community funds, and the special lines of financing obtained from the Juncker Plan or from the European Investment Bank, that the Government intends to finance the special measures to relaunch the economy, which are accounted for at 303 million euros. New tenders will be launched under Portugal 2020 amounting to 70 million euros to diversify economic activity and make these counties less dependent on the forest. Support for business investment in productive innovation in affected municipalities can reach 70 million euros. And there will be further calls for tenders to support productive investment and measures to set up businesses and employment of EUR 30 million. Source publico.pt