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Rome unfreezes eight billion euros for quake reconstruction

The Italian government is to release eight billion euros for the reconstruction of the Abruzzo region, which was devastated by an earthquake on April 6, killing some 300 people and causing the destruction of 55 percent of the houses.

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AFP - The Italian government adopted a decree Thursday to release eight billion euros (10.5 billion dollars) for the reconstruction of the Abruzzo region devastated by an earthquake earlier this month, ANSA news agency said.

The decree, which was approved at a cabinet meeting held in L'Aquila, the city at the epicentre of the earthquake, calls for 1.5 billion euros to be spent on emergency aid and another 6.5 billion euros on reconstruction.

Nearly 300 people were killed in the tragedy that hit the central region.

Around 34,000 of the 58,000 people who were made homeless by the April 6 quake are living in tents.

Around 55 percent of the 10,500 homes or buildings shaken by the quake have been deemed habitable by experts.

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has vowed that everyone made homeless by the disaster would be relocated by the end of summer.

He also said last week that three quarters of homes in the L'Aquila zone would be habitable within a month.

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