Flood-battered Germany okays major relief package

SourceKuwait Times

BERLIN: Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet approved a huge emergency aid package Wednesday for flood-stricken regions of Germany and said billions would be needed to rebuild homes, businesses and vital infrastructure. A week into the region’s worst flooding disaster in living memory, which has killed at least 170 in Germany, and 201 in total in Europe, the right-left “grand coalition” government unblocked some 400 million euros ($470 million) in immediate relief. Half will come from the federal government of Europe’s top economy and the rest from the 16 regional states, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said.

“We will make sure that life can go on,” Scholz told reporters in Berlin.

He said the coming months would bring a “billions-strong reconstruction programme to clear the devastation and restore infrastructure” including roads, bridges and railways. “We will rebuild — rebuild businesses, rebuild factories, rebuild buildings.”

Merkel had vowed on a visit to the badly hit medieval town of Bad Muenstereifel on Tuesday that Berlin would come...read more...