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German Floods Shake Up Campaign as Climate Change Hits Home (1)

July 19, 2021, 8:08 AM

Germany’s devastating flood damage has shifted the dynamic in the country’s election campaign, potentially redrawing political lines in the contest to succeed Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Images of battered cars piled up in swollen gullies and floodwater surging through sleepy half-timbered villages have shocked German voters. With the authorities looking ill-prepared and climate concerns back on top of the public agenda, the Green party has gained an opening.

Conservative front-runner Armin Laschet hampered his bid by jesting in the midst of the catastrophe, which has galvanized the German government into action. Merkel’s cabinet will meet on Wednesday to approve emergency ...