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EU Commissioner Wojciechowski visits flooded farms in Thessaly

Thessaly Avgenakis EU

European Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski, and Greek Rural Development and Food Minister Lefteris Avgenakis witness at close hand the disaster. ANA – MPA/ORESTIS PANAGIOTOU

European Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski on Thursday visited areas of Thessaly affected by the flooding caused by the recent destructive storms, Daniel and Elias, at the invitation of Rural Development and Foods Minister Lefteris Avgenakis.

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Wojciechowski visited farms in Thessaly to see the damage inflicted by floods and talk with flood victims. Accompanying him were the regional governor, Kostas Agorastos, the general secretary of the rural development ministry Giorgos Stratakos and the president of the Greek agricultural insurance organisation ELGA, Andreas Lykourentzos. During his visit to Karditsa, the mayor Vasilis Tsiakos was also present.

Before the first stop on his tour, in Prodromos, Karditsa, the commissioner and Avgenakis flew over the flooded plains of Farkadona, Keramidi, Koskina and Palamas, as well as Lake Karla, in a helicopter, giving Wojciechowski a clear idea of the level of destruction in Thessaly and the need for substantial help from the EU.

"The presence of the commissioner indicates that Europe is here," Avgenakis said, in statements to affected livestock breeders in Prodromos, announcing that the ministry will unveil detailed measures to support their flood-damaged farms the following week.

The commissioner also visited cotton farms, where the damage was absolute.

"The destruction goes beyond what I had imagined and all I had seen in the photographs that were shown to me," Wojciechowski said, adding that Avgenakis and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had taken immediate action to mobilise the EU.

"I will do whatever is in my power to secure very available resource. I am at your side," he added, addressing the farmers.

The commissioner's next visit was to a greenhouse in Farsala, which also suffered total damage from debris carried by the flooded river, with Avgenakis noting that the challenge was to find ways to ensure the compensation approached the actual value of the lost produce.

The first horizontal measures for the support of farmers are to be announced on Thursday and made more specific in conferences organised by the rural development ministry the following week.

Meanwhile, the commissioner's visits to the affected areas continued.

[Source: ANA-MPA]

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