June 12 - Ratings agency Fitch as warned the cost of this month's flooding in Germany and the surrounding countries could be as high as 12 billion euros. As Joel Flynn reports the disaster could even impede growth in Europe's biggest economy.
12 billion euros is today's daily digit in Europe - the economic cost of this month's flooding in Germany and the surrounding countries. Ratings agency Fitch believes the devastation could top the costs of damage in 2002, when the region suffered high water on a similar scale. It could also impede growth in Germany. Hundreds of thousands of people have been affected. Many are homeless and numerous businesses and factories, including a Volkswagen plant in Saxony, have been brought to a standstill. Germany's BDI industry association says the 0.8% growth forecast may still be achievable, but it will be difficult. Chancellor Angela Merkel has promised 100 million euros in aid for flooded areas, like southern Bavaria and Saxony. And Fitch says insurers could face a hit of up to 3 billion euros from damage claims. Germany isn't the only country counting the flood costs either - others along the Danube like the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Austria have also been swamped.