Politicians debate ‘€30 billion’ fund to rebuild German flood zones

Politicians debate '€30 billion' fund to rebuild German flood zones
Part of Bundestraße in Altenahr was completely swept away by the floods and will have to be rebuilt. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Thomas Frey
German politicians will discuss a potential €30 billion relief fund to for the reconstruction of flood-hit areas at a meeting between Angela Merkel and the state leaders on Tuesday.

Mammoth construction projects in areas ravaged by July’s floods would financed half by the federal government and half by the states, according to a government paper obtained by DPA. 

Though the exact sums are likely to be thrashed out at Tuesday’s meeting between Merkel and the state premiers, a ballpark figure of €30 billion has so far been put on the table.

Now a rapid parliamentary resolution from the Bundestag and Bundesrat is urgently needed, North Rhine-Westphalia state premier and chancellor candidate Armin Laschet (CDU) said on Monday.

READ ALSO: Frontrunner to succeed Merkel calls for up to €30 billion to rebuild flood-hit German towns

Malu Dreyer, who serves as the state premier in flood-bit Rhineland-Palatinate, agreed. 

The Social Democratic Party (SPD) politician told the German Editorial Network on Tuesday that haste was the order of the day.

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“People have been hit hard and need the security and confidence that they will not be left alone in the reconstruction process either,” Dreyer said, adding that there was a huge amount of solidarity between the federal and state governments. 

“The sooner the Bundestag and Bundesrat meet the better for the people in the disaster areas,” she said.

Improvements to warning systems up for discussion

According to the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), the damage to businesses in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate alone amounts to a billion euros.

Cautious estimates by local chambers of commerce and industry put the number of companies directly affected at more than 11,000.

“The amount of damage to buildings and machinery alone could exceed €3.5 billion,” they said.

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According to DPA, improvements to warnings for citizens are also set to be discussed on Tuesday.

These include a programme to upgrade sirens and a system that sends messages to mobile phone users similar to an SMS – to all those who are in the vicinity of a radio network at the time. This technology is already used in many other countries to warn against natural disasters such as floods.


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