April 16, 2014
Budget block on Italy quake aid called shameful.
The head of the European Parliament says it's shameful that some nations have delayed approving €670 million ($850.5 million) to help Italy's Emilia Romagna region recover from this year's back-to-back earthquakes.
European Parliament President Martin Schulz said Monday that EU members who have held up talks on the approval of the EU's 2013 budget, including the quake funds, "should feel ashamed."
After talks with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti over the weekend, Schulz said some EU countries were taking the earthquake aid "hostage" to get a more favorable deal from the budget negotiations.
Twenty-four people died in two temblors that struck the agricultural and industrial region in May.
EU budget talks resume late Tuesday.