Merkel said the recovery is a long-term undertaking and that a support package will be adopted on Wednesday. “Fortunately, Germany is a country that can support this financially.”
At the end of August she wants to go to Schuld again, because “it will not all be rebuilt here in the short term”.
Floods in Germany have killed 157 people so far.
Faster climate action
Merkel also points to the need for better climate policy. “We see here how great natural disasters can be. We will oppose it, in the short term, but also in the medium and long term.” According to her, more account should be taken of nature and climate in policy than has been done in recent years. “We have to hurry. We have to be faster in the fight against climate change.”
“A national effort is needed to deal with the consequences of the disaster,” regional Prime Minister Malu Dreyer, who accompanied Merkel, said afterwards. “The search for survivors is still ongoing, we will not rest until we have found all the missing.”
Mayor Herbert Lussi van Schuld said with a lump in his throat that all buildings in his municipality are damaged and that it will take years to restore everything. “This disaster will leave scars on all people in Debt.” He feels stretched by the help that Merkel has promised.
Smiling state prime minister
Merkel did not really answer a question from a journalist about the laughter incident of Armin Laschet, the presidential candidate of her party who visited the disaster area with President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. “I think the concern in North Rhine-Westphalia is just as great as in Rhineland-Palatinate and the state has already made money available.” Laschet is prime minister there.
When Steinmeier spoke about the situation in the hard-hit Erftstadt, Laschet stood in the background laughing and chatting with the people around him.
In the largest town in the disaster area, NOS reporter Henrik-Willem Hofs shows what it looks like there: