The Polish government insists it won’t declare a state of national disaster despite the devastation caused by recent floods.
If it did take such a measure it would mean having to postpone Poland’s presidential election in two weeks’ time, a vote the prime minister’s favoured candidate is poised to win. The government says it can carry out an election even in areas where thousands of people have been forced to evacuate their homes.
Much of the population of Hungary has similar flood problems to worry about.
Nationwide, the average rainfall for the whole year came down in the month of May alone. Several rivers have broken their banks and four thousand people were forced out of their homes at the weekend. Hungary’s agricultural sector has lost tens of thousands of hectares of farmland and is looking at a bill costing up to 300 million euros.
With central European rivers like the Danube at bursting point, countries like Slovakia and Croatia are rushing to shore up their flood defences.