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Merkel promises a stronger focus on “climate protection” after the floods – POLITICO

Chancellor Angela Merkel promised on Sunday that the government would focus more on climate protection after the deadly floods that devastated parts of Germany and neighboring countries.

“The German language knows hardly any words for this devastation,” said Merkel during a visit to flood areas in Rhineland-Palatinate. “We have to hurry to fight climate change.”

At a press conference in the badly damaged Schuld, Merkel said that her government would “counteract this natural disaster in the short term, but also in the medium and long term: we will focus our policy more intensely”. on climate protection that we have had in recent years. “

“This is clearly very necessary,” she added.

Climate researchers have long warned that such extreme weather events would increasingly hit Europe with warming. The recent floods in Germany and Belgium killed more than 180 people. On Sunday, further flash floods hit southern Germany, especially in the Bavarian Berchtesgadener Land.

Finance Minister Olaf Scholz told Bild am Sonntag that he wanted to provide 300 million euros in emergency aid and put “billions of euros” into a reconstruction program to repair “destroyed houses, roads and bridges”.

Merkel confirmed at the press conference on Sunday that her government would approve an aid program on Wednesday.

“We see the violence nature can use during torrential floods,” she added. “Still, we see the strong will of the people who survived.”

Merkel added that she would be returning to the region in August “to show you that we are there in the long term”.

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