Together with state premier Armin Laschet, Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Bad Münstereifel to obtain a first-hand impression of the damage caused there by the extreme weather. They were shocked at the extent of the losses and destruction but at the same time overwhelmed to see the enormous solidarity among local people.
Cabinet to approve emergency programme on Wednesday
Merkel stressed that the Federal Cabinet would adopt an emergency programme for aid and recovery as early as Wednesday. “What is needed now is for emergency aid to be made available without unnecessary bureaucracy,” the Federal Chancellor stressed. This programme will be co-funded by the federal states. Merkel promised to “make every effort to ensure the money gets to people quickly”. In addition to rapid financial aid, the Federal Government will also provide long-term support for the reconstruction of destroyed infrastructure such as roads, railways, bridges and tunnels. This requires solidarity among the federal states and a recovery plan.
Although what she saw left her virtually speechless, Federal Chancellor Merkel stressed that “our country is strong because we work together and because we’re now joining forces to overcome this difficult situation. I’d like to thank you most sincerely for the strength that so many of you have shown.” Recovery would take longer than just a few months, she added: “This will take a lot of staying power”.
Modular warning system correct
The flooding of the past few days was beyond what anyone could imagine, said Merkel. But the relevant agencies did issue advance warnings in Bad Münstereifel, she noted, saying that the modular warning system had provided the appropriate information to local authorities. The Federal Chancellor announced an analysis of the existing system, saying that pinpoint warnings via specific radio cells would be tested and the NINA warning app would be extended.