Germany has started working on reinforcing its underground shelters as well as building up crisis stocks in case of war, the Welt am Sonntag newspaper reported on Saturday, citing the country’s interior minister.
After decades of German armed forces attrition, Russia’s war in Ukraine led to a major policy shift with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz pledging to increase defense spending and inject 100 billion euros ( $109 billion) in the military.
The government is also planning to upgrade its public shelter systems and will increase spending on civil protection, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser told the newspaper.
“There are currently 599 public shelters in Germany. We will check whether we can upgrade more such systems. In any case, the dismantling has stopped,” Faeser said.
Germany is working on new concepts to reinforce underground car parks, metro stations and basements to become possible shelters, she said, adding that the government has given federal states 88 million euros to install new sirens.
“But when it comes to national coverage, we’re not even close,” Faeser added.
The country will also build up crisis stocks with supplies including medical equipment, protective clothing, masks or medicine, she said.
(Reporting by Riham Alkousaa; Editing by Zuzanna Szymanska)