Storm damage to reach 1bln

Flooded homes and farms, landslides and destroyed roadwork caused by recent rains are estimated to cost 600 million euros, the government said yesterday. If the costs of necessary anti-flooding works are included, the price comes to about 1 billion euros. Prime Minister Costas Simitis and his ministers of finance, defense, interior, public works, health and agriculture met and decided on emergency measures for victims, including financial assistance and low-interest loans. A state of emergency has been declared in the Cyclades and parts of Evia. National Economy and Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis said he had asked the EU for 75 million euros from the Solidarity Fund while a redistribution of public investment and civil defense funds would cover the rest of the costs. «Greece has been hit by unprecedented weather, which has caused untold damage, causing serious damage to the economy and social fabric,» he said.