BAD DÜRKHEIM (dpa-AFX) - The environment ministers of the federal states have unanimously spoken out in favor of compulsory insurance against damage caused by natural forces. On June 14, this demand should also be included in a motion in the Bundesrat, announced Petra Berg (SPD), Saarland Environment Minister, as representative of the A states with an SPD government or government majority, on Friday at the end of the Environment Ministers' Conference in Bad Dürkheim, Rhineland-Palatinate. For the CDU/CSU side, the Hessian Environment Minister Ingmar Jung emphasized that something urgently needed to be done about the issue.

Katrin Eder (Greens), Minister of the UMK chairing state of Rhineland-Palatinate, said that proposals must now be put on the table. In the Ahr valley, for example, it had become apparent that some people were not even getting such insurance or that the prices were going through the roof. Stefan Tidow (Greens), State Secretary in the Federal Environment Ministry, explained that the UMK decision on compulsory insurance had been taken by the federal states. Nevertheless, the federal government was not closed to the discussion. A federal-state working group under the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Justice is currently working on the issue. It is important that proposals are put on the table; a debate on concrete possible models is needed./chs/DP/stw