Duesseldorf (dpa) – NRW Prime Minister Armin Laschet (CDU) has called for a special session of the Bundestag to quickly help flood-affected regions.
“The Bundestag must meet quickly to approve the reconstruction law now,” Laschet of Bild am Sonntag said. For the reconstruction, the CDU chief and trade union chancellor expects support from all over Germany. “There must be a clear signal from Tuesday’s Prime Minister’s Conference: a comprehensive reconstruction of the flood plains – immediate, solidarity and safe for years to come.”
Damage in Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia alone is in the double-digit billions, Laschet confirmed. He promised unlimited money: «We cannot make up for death and suffering, but after reconstruction no city, no village, no family should be worse off than before. There is no upper limit for that,” says the CDU politician of the newspaper.
“Construction companies and craftsmen from all over Germany who work in the disaster area for several months” are also required. Laschet called for legal certainty. “No company should file for bankruptcy.” The federal cabinet launched a bill on Wednesday that provides that companies that have encountered financial problems through the flooding through no fault of their own will not have to file for temporary bankruptcy. A special session of the Bundestag is not planned so far.
Laschet wants to appoint special representatives
The head of government wants to appoint a special commissioner for flood relief for North Rhine-Westphalia. It must be an experienced practitioner “helping people rebuild, collecting problems on the ground and reporting to the ministries – so that our help is fast, accurate and adequate”.
Laschet had held talks with representatives of particularly hard-hit municipalities on Saturday, government circles said. The video conference exchange with mayors and district administrators dealt with the most pressing questions of emergency relief and the upcoming reconstruction. The extreme storm claimed 47 lives in North Rhine-Westphalia alone and many people lost everything.
On Monday, Laschet wants to inform the state parliament of Düsseldorf in a special session about the current state of affairs and the further procedure. On Tuesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the prime ministers will meet, among other things, to help with flooding.