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Government aid for Luxembourg floods slow in coming

Government aid for Luxembourg floods slow in coming

by Yannick HANSEN 2 min. 16.08.2022 From our online archive
The government has paid out just over 1% of the total claims from local councils
Residents of Echternach needed to be rescued from their flooded homes last July
Residents of Echternach needed to be rescued from their flooded homes last July
Photo credit: Gerry Huberty

Local towns devastated by last year's floods have received just over €370,000 in compensation from the government as of 3 August, out of claims worth €23 million, the interior ministry said on Tuesday.

That amounts to just over 1% of the total value of the claims. In April, the government said it had paid out €80,000.

The two-worst affected towns, Echternach and Rosport-Mompach - both in the country's east - made compensation claims amounting to €17m, for which the government has paid out an advance of €2.4m.

Last year, floods devastated large parts of the country, damaging property, roads and bridges, forcing people out of their homes and shops and restaurants to close. Luxembourg registered no casualties in the July floods, unlike its neighbours Belgium and Germany, which bore the brunt of the catastrophe.

Altogether thirty-six communal councils and two related organisations have submitted an application for compensation, the interior ministry said. Twelve of them had not received any money yet, as their applications were missing documents, the ministry said.

In October, private insurers estimated the total cost of the damage at €125 million, making it the most expensive event in the history of the insurance industry in Luxembourg, the ACA (Association des Compagnies d’Assurances et de Réassurances) said at the time.

Just over half of the 634 households which had applied for assistance had received funds by mid-March, the government said in April. On average, each household was paid €16,000, totalling almost €6 million. 

130 households had their request turned down. In addition to the state aid scheme, almost €3 million was paid to affected households by private insurers by mid-March, government figures showed. 

Locals had complained that they did not receive any warning of the incoming floods. Warnings last July appeared only on a government website that many people said they were not aware existed. 

A new system to alert residents in case of extreme weather conditions is to be set up, the government announced in March, after it received strong criticism last year for failing to warn people about the floods.

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