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Germany mourns after devastating floods which could be a political game-changer

Germany mourns after devastating floods which could be a political game-changer

The clear up has barely begun after extensive flooding in Germany and beyond but already the costs — both human and economic — are staggering, and there are likely to be political repercussions too. Flooding caused by heavy rains and overflowing rivers has devastated towns across western Germany and Belgium, as well in as Austria, parts of the Netherlands, Switzerland and Luxembourg. The flood risk remains high for some regions after more rainfall at the weekend.

In Germany alone, where flooding has affected the regions of North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland Palatinate in particular, more than 150 people have been reported dead, news agency Deutsche Welle reported Monday, and there are more fatalities across Europe as well as hundreds of people still missing.

The extreme weather leading to the floods has been attributed to climate change by politicians, while the German Meteorological Service stated on Twitter that “with global warming, weather extremes are becoming more violent and arguably more frequent.” It added that the extreme weather in Germany was part of a trend, “even if one has to check in each individual case whether and, if so, what part of climate change has already played a part.”

Assessing the economic and political impact of the floods with September’s federal election just two months away, Carsten Brzeski, global head of Macro at ING, said “it will still take some time to fully measure the full impact of the devastating floods.” The flooding could even impact the chances of the ruling CDU party’s chancellor candidate after Armin Lachet (the minister-president of North Rhine-Westphalia) was spotted laughing in the background of a press conference about the German victims of the floods.

Germany mourns after devastating floods which could be a political game-changer, CNBC, Jul 20

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