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Germany agrees €8bn flood fund

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Germany agrees €8bn flood fund
Deggendorf, Bavaria, 6th June 2013. Photo: DPA
16:00 CEST+02:00
The German government has agreed on an €8 billion aid package for victims of this summer's disastrous flooding – with the first payments due in early August.

Germany has put aside billions of euros for victims of severe flooding which destroyed hundreds of homes, roads and railways in southern and eastern Germany in May and June this year.

The funds will pick up the tab for up to 80 percent of the cost of repairing the flood damage, said the German Finance Ministry on Thursday.

The sum, which includes pay-outs from insurance companies, was hurriedly agreed by government and state representatives ahead of the upcoming election.

“The people know that the government and the states will stand by those who have sustained damage,” said Werner Gatzer, state secretary at the Finance Ministry, at a press conference to announce the funds.

Saxony-Anhalt, which sustained an estimated €2.7 billion in damage, will as the worst-affected state receive the most money – over 40 percent of the sum.

Meanwhile, Saxony will get 29 percent and Bavaria 20 percent. Smaller sums will also be given to Thuringia, Brandenburg, Lower Saxony and Baden-Würtemberg, along with even smaller pay-outs to four others.

It will be left up to the individual states to see the money reaches the right places, said the ministry. Saxony-Anhalt is set to announce further details about allocation of the money next week - so that citizens, business owners and landlords will know what to expect.

The rebuilding effort will be further subsidised by up to €360 million from the EU's solidarity fund, the European Union announced on Thursday.

The EU money, the amount of which the Union said it hopes to confirm and pay out by the end of the year, will go towards paying for uninsured damage, cleaning-up efforts and emergency accommodation.

DPA/The Local/jlb

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