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European Bank funds German flood repairs

EMERGENCY REPAIRS to flood damage in southern Germany, the Czech Republic and Austria are to be funded by £660M of loans from the European Investment Bank, it was announced last week.

The bank will increase flood repair funding by £2.64bn in January. It is still too early to tell what sectors or projects will be given priority, said an EIB spokesman.

Of the initial £660M package, however, £330M is earmarked for eastern Germany, £200M for the Czech Republic, £100M for Austria and £30M for other flood-damaged countries such as Hungary and Slovakia.

The German government has issued interim guidance to regional authorities that no dredging work is to be carried out until the causes of the flooding have been studied and are better understood.

It has also proposed that some bunds should be removed to allow rivers to flood land upstream of settlements, reducing flood severity in towns and villages. Building on flood plains may be banned.

In the Czech capital, the Prague Metro has now been emptied of water and inspections are being carried out. Preliminary repair costs are put at £210M.

It is thought that damage to the Metro was dramatically increased by the operator, which ignored safety guidelines and continued running trains until water levels were nearly twice the maximum safe height (NCE 22/29 August).

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