Cash and tax aid for fire devastated Canary Islands

3rd August 2007, Comments 0 comments

3 August 2007, MADRID - Spain announced direct aid and tax breaks Friday for the Canary Islands following the worst forest fires there in 50 years.

3 August 2007

MADRID - Spain announced direct aid and tax breaks Friday for the Canary Islands following the worst forest fires there in 50 years.

Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba declined to announce a total sum saying the damage from fires on the islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria could take a few weeks to evaluate.

The government expects to pay out all aid within three months, Rubalcaba told a news conference.

Direct handouts will be given to the Canary Islands government to rebuild burned-out infrastructure and to people who lost homes and property. Tax exemptions will be available to businesses and families.

The two islands were evacuated of about 12,000 people to escape the fires that began last Friday on Gran Canaria and Monday on Tenerife.

Local officials and news reports had estimated the total charred land on the two islands at more than 30,000 hectares (75,000 acres), but Environment Minister Cristina Narbona lowered the estimate to 11,000 hectares (28,000 acres) Friday.

She said that in many cases damage was scattered rather than entire forests destroyed.

[Copyright AP with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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