B.and countries have agreed on a national reconstruction fund after the flood disaster amounting to 30 billion euros. This was confirmed on Tuesday by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung’s regional circles on the deliberations of Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the state premiers.
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.
Bankruptcies should be prevented
The North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister Armin Laschet (CDU) announced a rapid pace of reconstruction after the flood disaster during the deliberations of the federal and state governments. As the German Press Agency (dpa) learned from participants, Laschet thanked the other countries for the 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 reconstruction on its way. The Union and the SPD have agreed on this. The Federal Council has to approve the fund.
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, provided the damage was not covered by insurance.
Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) said on a visit to the hard-hit towns of Stolberg near Aachen at the beginning of August with a view to the 2013 fund: “We will probably need a much larger amount to bring about the reconstruction.” Scholz had pointed out that, after the floods in 2013, the federal and state governments together have 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, who is also CDU chairman, 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.