by Staff Writers
Berlin (AFP) June 13, 2013
Germany intends to set up a fund worth about eight billion euros ($11 billion) to help victims of record floods which forced thousands from their homes and left a path of destruction across parts of the country, reports said on Thursday.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has visited water-logged zones four times since the flooding began this month, is due to meet the premiers of Germany's 16 states later to discuss the disaster's impact.
No official figure has yet been given for the cost of the damage in Germany from the floods which also deluged other central European countries, leaving at least 19 people dead.
But Handelsblatt business daily, citing government sources, said that the financing earmarked to help victims would be about eight billion euros, with the federal government paying half and the regions stumping up the rest.
The figure was also reported in other newspapers.
After the "worst-of-the-century" floods in 2002, a 6.5-billion-euro fund was set up.
Last week, Merkel already pledged immediate aid of 100 million euros.
Reiner Haseloff, premier of eastern Saxony-Anhalt state, which has been hit by the flooding, suggested in the Mittledeusche Zeitung a temporary increase of a tax levied on all personal income and businesses to help reconstruct former East Germany.
Water levels continued to slowly fall in northern Germany on Thursday and dykes were holding, including in Lauenburg in Schleswig-Holstein and Hitzacker in Lower Saxony, both of which were visited by Merkel Wednesday.
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