DÜSSELDORF (dpa-AFX) - North Rhine-Westphalia's Minister President Hendrik Wüst (CDU) is urging the federal government, in line with other federal states, to introduce compulsory insurance for damage caused by natural hazards. "As natural disasters do not stop at state borders, we urgently need the introduction of compulsory insurance against natural hazards agreed between the heads of state governments and the Federal Chancellor," he told the Rheinische Post newspaper (Thursday).

Instead of providing relief after such events through fund solutions, financial provision should be made. He was open as to the specific details, but one thing was clear: "It cannot be the case that taxpayers always end up footing the bill. The Chancellor has given his word to implement the insurance. The federal government must no longer fall short of its promises," criticized the NRW head of government.

In recent weeks, Baden-Württemberg's Minister President Winfried Kretschmann (Greens), for example, had clearly criticized the federal government and reiterated the demand for nationwide compulsory insurance against natural hazards. It must be assumed that the flood situation in parts of Germany will again cause billions in damage - and then calls for support will be raised again, he explained./vd/DP/zb