According to initial estimates, the devastating July flood caused property damage of 13 billion euros in North Rhine-Westphalia alone.

That said the North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister and Union Chancellor candidate Armin Laschet in a special session of the state parliament in Düsseldorf.

In Rhineland-Palatinate, at least the same amount is expected again, according to Laschet.

Pure burger

Political correspondent in North Rhine-Westphalia.

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For this reason, between 20 and 30 billion euros would be required for the federal and state rebuilding funds.

This package will be put together in these hours, only with a "national effort" can the "consequences of this catastrophe of national proportions" be overcome.

The fund is to be decided at the conference of the prime ministers and the chancellor on Tuesday.

The North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister promised that each individual would be able to count on the solidarity of society during reconstruction and a new beginning, and that it would be ensured that those affected could create a new existence in their homeland.

"We will do everything we can to ensure that every town, village and family will be in good shape again after the reconstruction and can look to the future with optimism", promised Laschet.

Fritz Jaeckel becomes the commissioner for reconstruction in North Rhine-Westphalia

"The quick reconstruction of thousands of private apartments and houses, that has probably not happened here in North Rhine-Westphalia since the war." That is why he has appointed a commissioner for reconstruction in the North Rhine-Westphalian building ministry.

He has entrusted this task to the managing director of the North Westphalia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Fritz Jaeckel.

Jaeckel held leading positions in the Saxon state government for many years until 2017, most recently as head of the Dresden State Chancellery.

Jaeckel also helped to cope with the major flood disasters of 2002 and 2013.

Jaeckel therefore knows exactly what to do in such a situation, said Laschet.

In addition, he asked the long-time president of the Federal Agency for Technical Relief, Albrecht Broemme, to investigate immediately, using the example of the July disaster, how cities and villages could be protected even more effectively in the event of a disaster.

Laschet said that Germany had to get better at disaster control and alerting.

He had offered the prime ministers of the other affected countries that Broemme would analyze the situation there as well.

Opposition in NRW asks about mistakes

Opposition leader Thomas Kutschaty (SPD) said that the task of parliament also includes asking about the mistakes. It is important to clarify whether the disaster was foreseeable, whether there were failures in warning and whether the government should have convened the country's crisis team. It is the prime minister's job to convene a crisis team, said Kuchaty. In addition, any specialist minister affected by a situation could propose a convocation. “Did a specialist minister make the suggestion?” Asked Kuchaty.

In fact, even in the acute phase of the disaster, there was no crisis team of the state government, but only a coordination group in the Ministry of the Interior.

“I lack the imagination of what catastrophe should occur in our country so that the country's crisis team is convened, if not in the event of such a devastating nationwide flood,” said Kutschaty.

Kutschaty announced that his parliamentary group would follow up the questions, if necessary with all the means available to the opposition, without using the term of a committee of inquiry.

CDU in Rhineland-Palatinate wants investigation

In Rhineland-Palatinate, the opposition CDU parliamentary group is calling for a committee to investigate the disaster. A few days after the flood disaster in mid-July, the CDU parliamentary group leader Christian Baldauf had described the AfD's call for an investigative committee in the Rhineland-Palatinate state parliament as "ludicrous". Well, at a press conference on Monday morning, he said, "It was not time to make political capital out of it." The rescue work had not yet been completed and the areas along the Ahr had not yet been cleared of mud. "That was the wrong time."