Romania PM is first EU leader to visit quake zone

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Firefighters visit damaged houses in Accumoli on Monday. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP
12:23 CEST+02:00
Romanian Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos on Tuesday will become the first European Union leader to visit Italy since last week's earthquake, which left nearly 300 people dead including 11 Romanians.

Last Wednesday's quake struck a string of mountain villages in a remote area straddling the central Umbria, Marche and Lazio regions.

Ciolos will join Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and President Sergio Mattarella at a funeral ceremony on Tuesday in the worst-hit town of Amatrice, the Romanian government said in a statement.

Most of the Romanian quake causalities were killed in Amatrice.

Ahead of the funeral, set to start at 1600 GMT, the prime minister will meet Romanian survivors at a temporary medical facility in the devastated town.

Ciolos will "lend his support to Italy's Romanian community, which has been heavily affected by the earthquake," Bucharest said.

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More than 1.1 million Romanians live in Italy, making them the country's largest foreign community.

Bucharest has earmarked several hundreds of thousands of euros (dollars) in aid for the quake victims.

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