More than 150 dead and several cities destroyed: Germany suffers the worst floods in years. Now that the worst seems over, politicians are flocking to the disaster area of western Germany to assess the damage and show their support.
Among them, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Chancellor Merkel. “It is shocking,” said the Chancellor. “In the German language there is no word for the devastation wrought here.”
After Steinmeier’s press moment, it was mainly Armin Laschet, the prime minister of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the region where the disaster took place. For Laschet was laughing. The images go viral under the hashtag #Laschetlacht.
The Prime Minister of the State has been criticized a lot. A politician from the Social Democratic SPD, for example, describes it as “scandalous and indecent”. The Bild newspaper wrote: “Laschet laughs, while Germany weeps.
Laschet is the leader of the CDU, the party of Chancellor Angela Merkel. She will retire after the September elections. This means that if the CDU remains the biggest party, Laschet has a good chance of becoming the new chancellor. He has since apologized.
We don’t know why Laschet was laughing.
The worst seems to be over in western Germany, but not all of Europe. In Salzburg, Austria, the water is now raging. The pictures show how intense it is there:
It is not known whether there were any casualties in Salzburg.