€600 million asked of Federal Government to repair flood damage
Share article:
Share article:

€600 million asked of Federal Government to repair flood damage

Credit: Belga

State Secretary for Economic Recovery Thomas Dermine has asked the Federal Government to cover half of the costs to repair the damage caused by the July floods, an amount equal to around €600 million.

Dermine, who is in charge of the recovery and strategic investments relating to the flood damage, will submit a note to the Council of Ministers on Monday asking the Federal Government to take charge of 50% of the financing of the regional infrastructures affected as part of the €1.2 billion joint solidarity fund, which will be managed by Belgium.

“I think that a real sense of urgency needs to be expressed. National unity cannot be satisfied with words. We have to take action,” Dermine told Le Soir.

Since the floods, the Walloon government faces a bill of at least €3 billion (this is accounting for the intervention made by insurance companies), but this amount could rise to €4 billion when taking into account the costs of cost of emergency interventions and damage repair.

According to figures quoted by Le Soir, Wallonia has invested a total of around €1.125 billion to cover reconstruction costs, including €998 million for communication routes, energy and telecommunication networks, €98 million for public tools (schools, hospitals, etc.), €10 million for cultural goods and heritage, €12 million for agriculture and €5 million for forests.

Related News


To cover these costs, the federal state and the regions concerned (including Flanders, where Limburg was impacted by the floods) would create an exceptional cooperation mechanism for a joint fund, whose resources would be managed by the Federal Government, while the planning and organisation of the refurbishments would be managed on a regional level.

Of this €1.2 billion, Dermine has said that the Federal Government would pay 50%, whilst the remaining cost would be covered by regional resources or aid obtained elsewhere, for example from the European Union, for which Wallonia has already put in a request.

National importance

According to Dermine, the Federal Government should intervene financially to refurbish local infrastructure – normally the responsibility of regional entities – because “the reconstruction of damaged infrastructures as well as the construction of new infrastructures that are more resilient to the risk of exceptional climatic events is a strategic issue of national importance.”

Just after the floods, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said the flood victims could count on the government, which he said “would do everything possible to support the families and communities that have been affected.” Dermine argued it is time to make that solidarity concrete.

“We are facing a titanic job and national solidarity must play its part, as the Prime Minister himself has already indicated,” he said.

For how long the fund will be in place and which projects it will support remains to be defined. However, it has been made clear that it will only cover the repair and reconstruction of public infrastructure with a national benefit.

Latest news

Increase in number of people ‘asking King for mercy’ through royal pardons
More and more people living in Belgium have been seeking royal pardons, mainly for fines, largely as a result of it now being possible to send in ...
England now accepting cheaper Covid tests from fully vaccinated travellers
Fully vaccinated travellers who enter England from non-red countries will only be required to book a lateral flow test to take following their ...
Re-introducing face masks indoors considered as Covid-19 situation worsens
Belgium's council of ministers will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss the worsening epidemiological situation, and reintroducing face ...
Federal museums to receive €2.9 million booster shot
Federal museums will receive an additional €2.9 million in support from the government for the fiscal year 2021, of which the first payouts will be ...
European Parliament emphasises healthy food and animal welfare in EU Farm to Fork Strategy
The European Parliament adopted this week a resolution on the EU Farm to Fork Strategy calling for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food ...
Threats of strike action could affect Brussels’ STIB network from Monday
Brussels public transport operator STIB's trams, buses and metros could be affected from Monday 25 October onwards as the union representing the ...
Number of international adoptions in Belgium continues to drop
The number of regulated international adoptions authorised by Belgium further dropped in 2020, continuing an ongoing decreasing trend. Last ...
Disaster drill with emergency services held at Brussels Airport
Around 300 people took part in a disaster drill held was organised on Saturday by Brussels Airport in collaboration with external emergency services ...
Austria presents bill to legalise euthanasia
Austria’s government on Saturday presented its proposals for legalising assisted suicide, in response to a Constitutional Court ruling that the ...
Brussels’ Museum Night Fever draws in some 12,000 visitors
Some 12,000 participants took part in the 14th edition of Museum Night Fever in Brussels, with the 29 participating museums filled to the maximum ...
Relaunch of 10,000 steps campaign to get Flemish people moving
The Flemish government is breathing new life into its 10,000 steps campaign to get people in the region moving after a recent survey found that a ...
‘No scientific basis’ for giving everyone third dose, vaccine expert says
The head of Belgium's Vaccination Taskforce has argued that there is not enough scientific evidence to support the Flemish government's decision to ...