Romania request EU aid in flooding crisis

Romanian authorities said today that they are requesting aid from the European Union's Solidarity Fund following severe flooding which killed 20 people in one week and destroyed roads, crops and houses.

Interior Minister Vasile Blaga said there was no assessment of the damage yet, as the situation was ongoing and still critical, especially on the Siret river in northern and eastern Romania.

But he said he believed the losses would exceed 0.6% of GDP, in a country struggling with recession and with austerity measures to keep the budget deficit in check.

Mr Blaga warned that the Danube had exceeded the highest levels recorded in 2006 around the towns of Galati and Braila.

Thousands of people have been evacuated since Monday.