Cover

Communication routes are cut off and destruction is visible everywhere. The torrential rains that killed at least 43 people over the weekend have left Madeira in a state of havoc. To foot the upcoming bill for the reconstruction of the Portuguese island, “the EU is placing no limit on financial aid”, announces Diário de Notícias. The exceptional nature of the disaster already entitles the island to €75 million in emergency aid from the EU Solidarity Fund, though it could well be more, explains the Lisbon daily. "This fund is used in cases of massive damage equivalent to €3 billion or 6% of the GNP of the country concerned. In the event of a regional disaster, there is no such value threshold,” adds MEP Graça Carvalho. Público hopes the reconstruction will establish new town and country planning regulations on the island, where development along the river banks and the desertification of the mountains have aggravated the effects of the rain.