Floods in Germany: More than 30 billion euros are needed to eliminate the consequences

North Rhine-Westphalia Prime Minister Armin Lasche said at least 13 billion euros will be needed in his state alone. More than 180 people were killed in the disaster last month.

North Rhine-Westphalia Prime Minister and CDU chancellor candidate Armin Lasche said Monday that at least 26 billion euros ($30.5 billion) will be needed to rebuild affected areas in Germany after last month’s deadly flooding.

The comments came ahead of Tuesday’s conference between Chancellor Angela Merkel and state leaders, where they are expected to sign a recovery plan.

What did Lachey say?

“The total damage in North Rhine-Westphalia, according to initial estimates, will reach 13 billion euros,” Lachey told members of the state parliament.

The flooding has damaged more than 150 schools in the state, as well as 200 kindergartens.

Lasche promised to do everything possible to help affected towns and families recover from the disaster.

He said that reconstruction costs in the neighboring state of Rhineland-Palatinate “will reach a similar, perhaps even higher amount.”

“All of the states have shown that they are willing to make a commitment of 20 to 30 billion euros,” he added.

The reconstruction costs will be divided equally between the federal government and the states.

Der Spiegel reported on Monday that the federal government has agreed to a recovery package of 30 billion euros.

Germany suffers worst flooding in decades
Floods in two western German states have killed 184 people. The eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt was also hit by flooding, as was the southern state of Bavaria.

Lasche and other German officials have been criticized for their handling of the crisis.

Some residents of heavily affected areas said they received no warning before the deadly floods began. The German prosecutor’s office recently opened an investigation into the head of the flood-hit Achrweiler district on charges of negligence.

Lasche was criticized for laughing during a visit to the flood-stricken city with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier last month. The North Rhine-Westphalia prime minister later apologized for his mistake.

“It was stupid, stupid, I shouldn’t have allowed it,” Lachey said.

Although Lachey was considered the top contender to succeed Angela Merkel as chancellor in September’s general election, a recent poll showed that the Social Democratic Party (SPD) candidate Olaf Scholz could lead the country as part of a tripartite coalition.

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