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Von der Leyen promises EU support for visits to flood areas – POLITICO


During a visit to the stricken Ostbelgien, the President of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, pledged EU support on Saturday to help rebuild the regions affected by the deadly floods this week.

“Europe is with you. We share your grief. We’ll help you rebuild ”, von der Leyen said when she joined Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo in the badly hit cities of Rochefort and Pepinster.

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo (L) and the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen (R), stand near a fallen tree during their visit to the city of Rochefort after heavy rains and floods on July 17, 2021 | John Thys / AFP via Getty Images

De Croo too said on Twitter that “the presence of President von der Leyen shows that this solidarity goes far beyond the borders.”

At least 157 people were killed in the extreme floods in Belgium and Germany.

Luxembourg, Switzerland and the Netherlands are also affected by the rising water levels.

The Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen | John Thys / AFP via Getty Images

The European Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič, who accompanied von der Leyen on the visit, said he was “proud” that more than 170 rescuers from France, Italy and Austria were deployed through the European Civil Protection Mechanism and provided immediate aid to those affected.

Earlier this week, in response to a Belgian request, the EU activated its mechanism to support local flood rescue teams.

Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, the Belgian Vice Minister for Economic Affairs Pierre-Yves Dermagne and the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, look through a window at a damaged house during their visit to Rochefort | John Thys / AFP via Getty Images



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