Germany to Allocate 30 Billion Euros to Repair Flooding Damage

Germany’s federal and regional governments will allocate about 30 billion euros ($35 billion) to help pay for reconstruction in western areas hit by severe flooding last month, according to a person familiar with the plan.

Premiers of Germany’s 16 states and Chancellor Angela Merkel are expected to discuss the cost of the flood damage when they hold talks via video conference on Tuesday afternoon, according to the person, who asked not to be identified discussing confidential information.

Merkel’s cabinet last month approved a 400 million-euro package to provide immediate aid, and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz has pledged to “mobilize whatever is necessary” to rebuild infrastructure damaged in the disaster, in which more than 170 people died.

Scholz has said that the federal government will make half the funds available, with the rest coming from the states affected, including North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate.

North Rhine-Westphalia is the home state of Armin Laschet, the front-runner to succeed Merkel as chancellor, and he last week postponed the start of his election campaign to deal with the aftermath of the floods.

Although his conservative bloc has maintained its lead ahead of the Sept. 26 national vote, its advantage over the second-placed Greens has narrowed to as little as two percentage points in one poll amid criticism of his response to the disaster.

The floods -- the worst in Germany in living memory -- forced climate concerns back to the top of the public agenda, potentially providing an opening for the Greens.

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