Merkel announces federal aid for flood victims | free press


Washington / Mainz (dpa) – Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has pledged support to the people living in the flood plains in Germany. Wherever the federal government can help, it will, Merkel said on the sidelines of her visit to Washington on Thursday.

“These are horrible days for the people in the floodplains. I sympathize with you. And they can be confident that all the forces in our state — at the federal, state and local levels — will work together to save lives, avert danger and alleviate hardship even under the most trying of circumstances.”

Federal Minister of Agriculture Julia Klöckner (CDU) also announced a relief program for the victims of the storm disaster in Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia.

“As the federal government, we will launch an emergency aid program,” Klöckner said on Thursday. She agreed with Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) that the many people who had lost their belongings due to the storm should be paid quickly and unbureaucratically. “They are great tragedies, they are hard to put into words,” said Klöckner, also CDU chairman of Rhineland-Palatinate. “The federal government will stand by the side of those affected by all means at its disposal.”

Lindner speaks to firefighters

Earlier, FDP leader Christian Lindner had called for prompt federal aid for the storm’s victims.

“For this, the federal finance minister can reactivate the development aid fund that was set up after the 2013 flood. This means that there are proven tools available that have already been introduced and that can work quickly and easily,” said Lindner from the German news agency. “Should this require a resolution from the German Bundestag, the FDP would be ready for a special session at any time.” First reported the newspaper “Bild”.

The images of the disaster are “shocking and touch us”, said the party chairman, who on Thursday informed himself about the situation in Leichlingen in his Rheinisch-Bergischer Kreis constituency and spoke with employees of the local fire service.

“The emergency services are doing great things in these hours. The victims deserve our sympathy and solidarity,” he said. Even after the acute need for these hours, those affected should not be left alone. “No one can protect themselves against such a fate alone, which is why we are called upon as a state solidarity community,” Lindner says. “The federal government also has a responsibility here, because it is a catastrophe of national dimensions. Federal emergency assistance must be decided immediately by the federal government.”

“Climate change has arrived in Germany”

Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) spoke out on Thursday because of the flood disaster to better prepare for extreme weather conditions in the future.

The SPD politician wrote on Twitter: “Climate change has arrived in Germany. The events show the force with which the effects of climate change can affect us all.”

Schulze wrote: «Heavy rain and floods have hit our country hard. My thoughts today are with the people who are in need, who have lost their homes or are even grieving relatives.” Now is the time for solidarity and practical help. The events showed how important it is to prepare yourself even better in the future. prepare for such extreme weather conditions.

CSU boss Markus Söder also referred to the link with climate change: This issue requires “we not only take climate adaptation measures and climate aid, but also proactively apply climate protection”. Preserving the house, shaping the climate and at the same time ensuring prosperity: these are the challenges everyone faces.