Germany has accepted a €400 million package deal of speedy support for victims of final week”s floods and vowed to get started quickly on rebuilding the devastated areas.
Finance minister Olaf Scholz said the package, financed half by the federal government and half by Germany’s state governments, is to help people deal with the immediate aftermath of the flooding and will be expanded if needed.
“We will do what is critical to assist everybody instantly,” he said.
The government also expects to spend billions on rebuilding, but how much exactly won’t be clear until authorities have a better overview of the extent of the damage. But Scholz said that reconstruction efforts will get underway without delay.
‘We will do everything’
Visiting the badly damaged town of Bad Muenstereifel on Tuesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel said that “we are going to do every thing … in order that the cash comes rapidly to individuals who usually don’t have anything left however the garments on their backs.”
“I hope it is a query of days,” she added. As for the long-term reconstruction effort, she said, restoring infrastructure “will take quite a lot of months”, pointing to the various bridges destroyed.
At least 171 individuals have been killed in Germany when small rivers swelled rapidly into raging torrents after persistent downpours final week, nicely over half of them in Ahrweiler county, close to Bonn. Another 31 died in neighbouring Belgium, bringing the dying toll in each international locations to 202.
Germany has latest expertise with main floods that hit swaths of the nation’s east in 2002 and 2013, inflicting intensive and dear injury. However, the dying tolls have been notably excessive in final week’s floods, which have been the worst in residing reminiscence within the areas they hit.