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European Parliament lawmaker says some EU quake aid for Italy appears to have been misused

BRUSSELS - Controversy has broken out in the European Parliament over the alleged misuse of European Union aid money for the survivors of a devastating 2009 earthquake in Italy. Soren Bo Sondergaard, a Danish member of the parliament, said Thursday he visited a new development of 60 houses in the L'Aquila area where the quake struck. The homes are empty because they've been deemed unfit to live in, he said, adding that the funds to build them either went to criminals or "unbelievably stupid people."

Italian mayor turns handyman to save town budget

An Italian mayor and his council members have decided to fight the economic crisis proactively, picking up paintbrushes and re-painting the walls of their offices themselves to spare the town budget. They worked overtime and even chipped in for the material themselves. "The idea spread quickly and all the employees contributed," Gino di Cicco, who is in charge of the budget in Avezzano, told AFP on Monday. Avezzano is a small town close to the earthquake-struck city of L'Aquila in central Italy.

Churches closed in central Italy town after quakes

Churches were closed and two temporary structures erected to house spooked citizens in the town of Sora near Rome on Sunday after three quakes shook central Italy, sparking panic but causing little damage. A 4.8-magnitude quake which struck Frosinone between the capital and the southern city of Naples at a depth of 10.7 kilometres (6.6 miles), saw people race into the streets and shook apartment buildings in the centre of Rome.

Quake shakes central Italy, spooking residents

A 4.8-magnitude quake hit central Italy late Saturday, shaking apartment buildings in the centre of Rome and spooking citizens in the region of Abruzzo, struck by a killer quake in 2009. The quake hit Frosinone, between the capital and the southern city of Naples, at a depth of 10.7 kilometres (6.6 miles) according to Italy's Geophysics Institute. No injuries or damage to buildings were reported.
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