The Balearic government has approved the decree regulating compensation for damage to property caused by the two storms which swept the archipelago at the beginning of November. Government leader Francesc Antich explained yesterday that there is a fund of 7'900 million pesetas, which may be increased once the full extent of the losses has been evaluated. He pointed out that his government had provided a rapid and adequate reply to those who had suffered damage to their property because of the rain and the wind. December 20 is the closing date for presenting a declaration of damage, and this will lead to a period for applying for aid until February 15. The finance ministry will then have three months in which to settle the requests. Antich said that the decree covered direct financial aid calculated on a pre-established percentage of the cost of repairing damage, subsidies for returning loans and indirect aid consisting of technical and human means. Beneficiaries will be persons or private companies in the Balearics, with the exception of firms with more than 50 workers and an annual turnover of more than 790 million pesetas. With regard to public property, Antich said that town and village councils are preparing an evaluation of damages, the joint result of which will be transmitted by the central government's office to the ministry of the interior, which Antich feels should co-ordinate all State aid which may be approved for the archipelago. The Balearic government will provide general aid, either direct or to be returned, of 30 per cent of the cost, with a maximum limit of one million pesetas, which may increase to 75 per cent and a maximum of two million pesetas in the case of the handicapped or those who receive non-contributive pensions. Farmers will receive 75 per cent of damage to machinery and infrastructures, with limits varying according to the damaged elements. Specific subsidies for housing will range from 40 per cent (up to two million pesetas) for family homes and 30 per cent (up to one million pesetas) for second homes. There is also aid for removing trees, and for commerce and industry. Antich said that information on aid available can be obtained from the freephone 900 321321, town halls and on the government's website www.caib.es.
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