BRUSSELS - The European Union has approved €670 million ($850 million) to help Italy's Emilia Romagna region recover from this year's back-to-back earthquakes, despite its disagreement on other budgetary issues.
Tuesday's approval by the 27 member states came after pressure from the European Parliament, which had called foot-dragging on the issue shameful.
The earthquake aid was part of the protracted 2012-2013 EU budget negotiations, which hit a stalemate last week.
An attempt to rescue the talks failed Tuesday, but in a show of goodwill toward Italy, the meeting of budget ministers let the earthquake aid pass.
Twenty-four people died in two temblors that struck the agricultural and industrial region in May.
The Associated Press