Stolberg (dpa) – The reconstruction after the flood disasters of recent weeks will cost more than six billion euros, according to federal finance minister Olaf Scholz.
“We will probably need a much larger amount for the reconstruction,” the SPD chancellor said during a visit to the hard-hit towns of Stolberg near Aachen and Schleiden in the Eifel.
After talks with entrepreneurs, the vice chancellor also announced that the federal government wants to suspend the obligation to file for bankruptcy for companies damaged by the flood, especially in West Germany. In the Corona crisis, the bankruptcy obligation was also suspended to help companies.
It shouldn’t be the money
“What can be solved with money, we will solve with money,” Scholz said. However, what no one can make good is the ruined lives, the ruined health and everything that has caused the catastrophe in the hearts and minds of the people.
Scholz pointed out that after the devastating floods in 2013, federal and state governments have now spent nearly six billion euros on reconstruction in the affected areas. But the damage in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate alone probably exceeded what was then recorded in 11 federal states.
The federal cabinet will decide on Wednesday about the reception of the companies involved. In addition, a law must be passed before the federal elections to set the course for reconstruction.
Scholz toured the areas affected by the flood and got an idea of the damage. In Schleiden, he spoke to THW employees, shopkeepers and a specialist advisor for psychosocial emergency care.
At one point a woman called after him: “Mr. Scholz, where is Mr. Laschet?” She went on screaming, “And who takes responsibility for all the deaths here? Women, children, babies, who takes responsibility?” But this was an isolated case.
North Rhine-Westphalia Prime Minister Armin Laschet (CDU) received massive criticism from those who experienced Monday’s flood disaster during a visit to the Swisttal flood plain near Bonn. As the Union Chancellor walked through the devastated streets two and a half weeks after the storms with dozens dead, the anger of many residents erupted at the still lack of help.
Laschet visited Stolberg on Tuesday together with Scholz. There he reported that EUR 215 million in emergency aid had already been disbursed in the most populous state, and that reconstruction aid would soon also be flowing. He emphasized that reconstruction is also about taking into account the effects of climate change and building in such a way that floods can no longer cause such damage in the future.