The catastrophic floods in western Germany in mid-July caused damage of potentially €30 billion. In the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, this amounts to more than 13 billion, according to the latest estimate.
Regional Prime Minister Laschet announced the amount during a special session of the state parliament in Düsseldorf. The damage in the more southern state of Rhineland-Palatinate is at least as significant so that the planned reconstruction fund should comprise 20 to 30 billion euros, according to Laschet. That is more than double a previous estimate.
All sixteen German federal states have already expressed their willingness to contribute this amount. “That’s why we are grateful for this nationwide solidarity,” Laschet said. However, the aid requires a rapid procedure with special sessions of the German parliament, possibly as early as this month.
The floods with more than 180 deaths are considered the worst natural disaster in Germany in more than fifty years. “After everything I have seen in recent weeks, I am still deeply shocked,” said the prime minister.
Laschet, who wants to succeed Chancellor Merkel next month, has recently been criticized for the way he acted during the crisis. For example, he was laughing in the background when the German president visited a disaster site and addressed the affected population and aid workers.