Düsseldorf (dpa / lnw) - The FDP parliamentary group considers a continuation of the committee of inquiry into the flood disaster in the new electoral period to be essential. Proper clarification has not yet taken place, said the vice chairman of the FDP parliamentary group and previous committee chairman Ralf Witzel on Tuesday in Düsseldorf. Important witnesses have not yet been heard and expensive reports and numerous other sources have not been discussed.
Witzel warned that since the state parliament administration had to return almost three million pages of all the documents requested for the committee over the summer break, there was a risk of documents being destroyed for data protection reasons. This applies, for example, to calendar data from decision-makers or telephone data from state government executives. A clarification at a later point in time would therefore no longer be possible in some areas.
Storms with unusually heavy rainfall triggered a flood disaster in NRW and Rhineland-Palatinate in mid-July 2021. Entire regions were devastated by the water masses. 49 people died in NRW, and the damage is estimated at around 13 billion euros.
During the past legislative period, the committee of inquiry examined official failures and structural deficits in civil protection; it ended at the end of the electoral period.
A committee of inquiry must be requested by at least one fifth of the deputies, but the FDP does not alone have that many parliamentarians. The SPD parliamentary group had already spoken out against a continuation because they saw the failures of the CDU/FDP state government to be "comprehensively disclosed".
At the beginning of April, the U-Committee presented an interim report. But it was "purely descriptive," said Witzel. A continuation of the educational work up to a final report would be necessary out of respect for those affected.
A few weeks before the state elections, the then Environment Minister Ursula Heinen-Esser (CDU) resigned because of a stay in Mallorca during the flood disaster. Although this resignation was necessary, it was not the aim of the committee of inquiry, stressed Witzel.