Century flood: Merkel keeps promise: return to the flood area

Century flood: Merkel keeps promise: return to the flood area

Almost two years have passed since the “flood of the century”. As German head of government, Merkel visited flood areas at the time. Now the former Chancellor is returning to see if things are right.

Former Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) returned on Tuesday to one of the places hardest hit by the 2021 flood disaster.

Accompanied by the Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, Hendrik Wüst (CDU), she got an idea of ​​the reconstruction in Bad Münstereifel (Euskirchen district) in North Rhine-Westphalia. The 68-year-old met citizens, visited shops and found out about the progress of the repairs at the town hall.

Surprise visit to Bad Münstereifel

As Chancellor at the time, Merkel traveled to the place devastated by the flood of the century in July 2021 and promised to come back – even if she was no longer in office. She did not officially announce her visit on Tuesday. Onlookers on the street reacted with surprise when the prominent visitor entered the “Frauenzimmer – Schöne Hände und Tüdelü” shop.

Two years ago, Merkel was shocked by the destruction. Many of the 49 people who died in the disaster in NRW alone died in Bad Münstereifel. At least 135 people died in Rhineland-Palatinate. The material damage was in the tens of billions.

At the time, the chancellor promised the municipal leaders: “We won’t forget you any time soon, we’ll keep getting an idea of ​​how things are with the reconstruction.” It is very clear “that we will need a lot of staying power here”.

Awarded the NRW State Prize

Afterwards, Angela Merkel (CDU) traveled to Cologne, a good 60 kilometers away. There she was awarded the State Prize of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. The State Prize, established in 1986, is the country’s highest award. Previous winners include racing driver Michael Schumacher, former Federal Environment Minister Klaus Töpfer, founder of Circus Roncalli, Bernhard Paul, and choreographer Pina Bausch.

Prime Minister Hendrik Wüst (CDU) justified the award of the prize by saying that Merkel had successfully steered Germany through many crises. He also named “their extraordinary humanitarian achievements and their outstanding services to Germany’s reputation in the world”. In April, Merkel had already received the highest possible level of the Federal Cross of Merit.

Source: Stern

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