Tuesday, August 10, 2021
The federal and state governments are putting together a package
30 billion euros are to repair flood damage
In the flood disaster in mid-July, entire regions and towns are destroyed, 180 people are killed. The federal and state governments want to provide reconstruction aid with a sum of billions. The associated federal law should then be in place at the beginning of September.
According to information from the dpa news agency, the federal and state governments have agreed on a national reconstruction fund amounting to 30 billion euros after the flood disaster. This was reported on Tuesday from sources from the state and federal side on the deliberations of Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Prime Ministers of the states. According to this, a national fund “Development Aid 2021” is to be set up as a special federal fund with 30 billion euros.
The reconstruction measures of the federal states amounting to 28 billion euros are to be financed equally by the federal government and half by the federal states. According to the draft resolution, the federal states are to be involved in adjusting the distribution of sales tax revenue over 30 years. The difference of two billion euros results from damage to federal institutions: The flood disaster, which mainly hit regions in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate, also caused damage to bridges, railways and motorways, for example.
“We have to start right now”
The North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister Armin Laschet announced a rapid pace of reconstruction after the flood disaster during the deliberations of the federal and state governments. Laschet thanked the other countries for their great solidarity after the terrible disaster. He reported an immense extent of damage. “We have to start immediately,” said Laschet.
A federal law is planned for the development fund. The Bundestag is expected to meet for a special session on August 25th to get aid for the reconstruction on its way. The Union and SPD have agreed on this, as dpa and Reuters learned from coalition circles. The Federal Council has to approve the fund. The second and third readings are then planned for the regular session of the Bundestag on September 7, the last before the Bundestag election.
At the meeting, the Bundestag should also discuss a planned temporary suspension of the obligation to file for insolvency for companies affected by the disaster. This is to prevent a wave of bankruptcies.
More than 13 billion euros in damage in NRW
According to dpa information, the development fund should be technically based on the fund after the 2013 flood. At that time it was about a “law for the establishment of a special fund for development aid”. The fund financed aid to repair flood damage and to rebuild the destroyed infrastructure. Funds flowed to damaged private households and companies, insofar as the damage was not covered by insurance.
Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said in early August during a visit to the hard-hit towns of Stolberg near Aachen with a view to the 2013 fund: “We will probably need a much larger amount to bring about the reconstruction.” The SPD candidate for Chancellor had pointed out that after the floods in 2013, the federal government and the federal states together had now spent almost six billion euros on reconstruction in the affected areas.
In North Rhine-Westphalia alone, the damage caused by the storm in mid-July amounts to more than 13 billion euros, according to initial estimates, as Prime Minister Laschet announced on Monday in a special session of the Düsseldorf state parliament. The damage in Rhineland-Palatinate is at least as high, so that the planned national reconstruction fund should include 20 to 30 billion euros.