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Flood-battered Germany rolls out $470m relief package

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Germany’s cabinet has approved an approximately 400 million euro ($472m) package of immediate aid for the victims of last week’s devastating floods.

Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said on Wednesday more money could yet be provided to help people deal with the aftermath of the deadly natural disaster if needed.

“We will do what is necessary to help everyone as quickly as possible,” he told reporters in the capital, Berlin.

The package will be half financed by the federal government and half by Germany’s 16 state governments.

Authorities in the two most heavily affected states of Rhineland-Palatinate and neighbouring North Rhine-Westphalia are responsible for determining which individuals receive aid, and how much.

But Scholz said they have indicated that there will no means-testing of potential recipients and the money will be distributed in “a very unbureaucratic process”.

“It’s necessary to send a message quickly that there is a future, that we are taking care of it together, that this is a matter for us as the whole country to help with,” he said.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said during a visit to North Rhine-Westphalia on Tuesday that she hopes getting money to people “is a question of days”.

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