The war in Ukraine is forcing Germany to strengthen its bunker infrastructure

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German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser speaks to the media after the first flight bringing Ukrainian refugees from Moldova to Germany arrived at Frankfurt Airport March 25, 2022, after Russia invaded Ukraine. REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen

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BERLIN, April 9 (Reuters) – Germany has started work on strengthening its basement shelters as well as building up emergency supplies in case of war, the Welt am Sonntag newspaper reported on Saturday, citing the country’s interior minister.

After decades of attrition in Germany’s armed forces, Russia’s war in Ukraine has prompted a major policy shift in which Chancellor Olaf Scholz has pledged to increase defense spending and inject 100 billion euros ($109 billion) into the army.

The government is also considering modernizing its public protection systems and will increase spending on civil protection, Home Secretary Nancy Faeser told the newspaper.

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“There are currently 599 public emergency shelters in Germany. We will check whether we can retrofit other systems of this type. In any case, the dismantling has stopped,” said Faeser.

Germany is working on new concepts to strengthen underground car parks, subway stations and basements as possible shelters, she said, adding that the government has given countries 88 million euros to install new sirens.

“But in terms of nationwide coverage, we’re not even close,” added Faeser.

The country will also build up crisis stocks with supplies such as medical equipment, protective clothing, masks or medicines, she said.

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Reporting by Riham Alcousaa; Editing by Zuzanna Szymanska

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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