BRUSSELS, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Britain stands to receive about 160 million euros ($231.2 million) from a European Union solidarity fund to help cover the multi-billion cost of the country's flooding in June and July.
EU Regional Policy Commissioner Danuta Huebner announced the figure on Wednesday after talks with the British minister responsible for flood relief and local government, John Healey.
"We will have in November the decision of the Commission ... I don't expect any suprises," Huebner told a news conference. "If this assessment is true, and i hope it is ... it could be around 160 million euros that will be reimbursed."
Insurance assessors have estimated that the floods, which struck the north of England in June and the west Midlands and central regions in July, could cost up to 3 billion pounds ($6.22 billion). Healey said some 48,000 households and 7,000 businesses were hit by the flooding.
The fund was set up in 2002 to help member states deal with the uninsurable costs of natural disasters. It has covered 23 cases so far and even granted assistance to the United States in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina.
This is Britain's first application and Healey said he was delighted that Huebner had been able to indicate the scale of assistance it could expect to receive next year.
Huebner said two other big applications were pending for storms in Germany and forest fires in Greece.
"We are probably in Europe going to face more and more cases of climate change-related national disasters, to which we have to be better prepared," she said