Moratinos to take aid to tsunami countries

7th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

7 January 2005, MADRID- Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said he would go next week to Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Thailand with aid for victims.

7 January 2005

MADRID- Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said he would go next week to Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Thailand with aid for victims.

Moratinos said he would focus specially on Indonesia, for which the Spanish government has earmarked most of its relief aid.

The government said at the year's end it would release EUR 50 million(USD 67m) in aid, including EUR 48m as credits at preferential interest rates for disaster-hit countries.

Meanwhile, Spain will next week send military aircraft and troops to support the international aid effort in Asian countries hit by deadly tsunamis, Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero announced.

The Hercules transport planes and helicopters will carry field hospitals and engineers to bolster the unprecedented rescue effort, Zapatero said.

But he did not specify how many aircraft and personnel would be involved nor which countries they would head to.

US, European and Asian militaries are already deployed in force at the sharp end of emergency relief operations in the countries hit by the tsunami disaster that killed at least 146,000 people.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid football club, which has a large fan base in Asia, has begun a fundraising campaign to aid survivors of the disaster, opening a special bank account for the purpose.

"As footballers we were always received with warmth in the region," skipper Raul Gonzalez said in a statement.

"Today we must respond by helping the hundreds of thousands of people who need us to do so."
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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