The Pentecost holidays will begin soon. On the Adriatic beaches near Rimini, it is hoped that not many vacationers will be hindered by flood images. In the agriculture of the affected area, on the other hand, nothing works anymore.
On the Adriatic beaches near Rimini it looks almost the same as always. Flood debris has been removed. The beaches are painted in soft colors. Umbrellas and sunbeds are provided. And the sun shines from the cloudless sky.
The Pentecost holidays will begin soon. But the anxiety in the bathing resorts, which are very popular with the Germans, is so good that the visitors are distracted by the scary pictures of the floods. Ten percent of reservations were canceled. Patrizia Rinaldis, President of the Hotel Association of Emilia-Romagna Federalberghi, plans a communication campaign. He wants to persuade them to come. Tourism contributes 70 percent to the national income in the province of Rimini and represents a turnover of five billion euros.
Lamborghini canceled planned 60th birthday celebrations
In agriculture, on the other hand, nothing works anymore. The region surrounding Forlì, Cesena and Ravenna is one of the most important fruit and vegetable growing areas in Italy. Water – as far as the eye can see. Below it are fields of wheat, corn and sugar beets. In the so-called Fruit Valley, strawberries, plums, apricots, kiwi, asparagus, tomatoes, wine and cherries are largely lost. Nicola Dalmonte, president of the Coldiretti agricultural association in the hard-hit province of Ravenna, fears it could take years for new crops to bear fruit. The Coldiretti farmers union sees 50,000 jobs at risk. And new storms are announced.
The situation is even better at the Audi Lamborghini subsidiary in Sant’Agata Bolognese near Modena. Nothing happened there, even though the headquarters is near the flood plain. The company’s dealers in the so-called Car Valley between Bologna and Modena are also unaffected. However, Lamborghini has canceled the 60th birthday celebrations planned by – such as luxury goods groups LVMH (Fendi, Bulgari, Loro Piana) and Kering (Gucci, Brioni, Bottega Veneta), some of which have plants in the area – donated money to flood victims.
The food industry and the packaging industry are affected
Annalisa Sassi, President of the Confederation of Confindustria of Emilia-Romagna, cannot take the assessment. In addition to the fashion and food industries in the region, the retail and packaging industries have been particularly affected by the floods. In Faenza, where the Romans produced majolica, many potters have been severely affected by water and mud entering the workshops.
The industry in the affected states between Bologna, Ferrara, Ravenna, where famous paintings were threatened, to Riccione and parts of the Marche, represents almost a thousand companies with a turnover of 25 billion euros and an export volume of ten billion euros. According to Sassi, priority is given to restoring infrastructure, especially roads and railways. Rail traffic is almost back to normal.
Few companies have insurance against storm damage
The problem for individuals and companies is that most of them do not have insurance against natural disasters. In total there are only about 1.4 million policies in Italy and only a few hundred thousand of them cover flood damage. Most small businesses in particular do not have insurance for such damage.
In Italy’s largest insurance company Generali, a press spokesperson only said on request that “the company’s qualified employees are working in contact with appraisers, trustees and technicians on the preliminary assessment of damage in the affected areas. It is still too early to estimate the damage .”
About 1.5 billion euros in damage is said to be caused by agriculture
According to preliminary estimates, the total damage caused by the floods in the affected areas is equal to five to six billion euros. About 1.5 billion euros will be allocated to agriculture. Some places in Abruzzo, for example, are still difficult to reach. The government of Rome has now decided on an initial aid package worth two billion euros and hopes to get more money from the European Disaster Fund, where Italy has been the biggest beneficiary over the past 20 years with a total of 3.1 billion euros.
Regardless of the promise, there are concerns that – similar to the European recovery plan – the Italian bureaucracy is ineffective in allocating funds. Several years after the great earthquake in Abruzzo in 2016, much of the damage has still not been repaired.