Prime Minister Dreyer denies any personal responsibility for the Ahr Valley Flood in the U-Committee and advocates ADD. A specialist sees the shortcomings in it.
The Prime Minister of Rhineland-Palatinate, Malu Dreyer (SPD), has once again denied responsibility for mistakes made on the night of the flood in the Mainz state parliament’s Ahr Valley investigative committee. At the committee’s second hearing, he said:
Regarding the night flood, Dreyer claimed that he did not realize the extent of the disaster until morning and that he was confident that the local civil protection structures would respond well to the expected flood. There was no indication that “local authorities sometimes fail to fulfill their duties”. The prime minister largely adhered to the arguments in his first poll in April 2022.
Dreyer put it this way a year ago:
Dreyer: Crisis management ‘given it all’
Dreyer also supported operations management during the devastating flood in the Ahr valley. Speaking before the investigative committee, Dreyer felt that the audit and service directorate (ADD) was used to making employees “really give it all”.
ADD boss Thomas Linnertz was available to state government 24 hours a day for weeks. He and his staff have “performed this colossal task to the point of exhaustion”.
Opposition wants Malu Dreyer to resign
After three hours of questioning, CDU and AfD representatives harshly criticized the head of government and urged him to draw personal conclusions from him. In the state parliament, AfD group leader Michael Frisch called for Dreyer’s resignation:
CDU Deputy Dirk Herber also voiced his harsh criticism of Dreyer and suggested this step to him. Herber spoke of an “embarrassing” appearance by Dreyer.
The opposition has repeatedly criticized the state government’s lack of communication on the night of the disaster and accused Dreyer, among other things, of failing to hold a government crisis meeting or actively contacting the heads of relevant departments that evening. There was hardly any exchange of information between the two departments responsible for the flood, the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Environment.
Dreyer: Flooding still “everywhere”
Dreyer was invited to appear before the panel as a witness for the second time. “This terrible natural disaster is still ubiquitous, even 20 months later, especially for those affected,” added Dreyer. His suffering still affects him personally. I wish our state had not been affected by this disaster at all,” he said.
It sees its political responsibility in advancing the reconstruction and reorganization of civil protection.
But there is a lack of donations:
Expert opinion: Crisis management made mistakes
Before Dreyer’s questioning, an expert report on civil protection work was presented. This has seen faults in ADD’s crisis management. However, the authority initially had to work under difficult conditions, for example, without a working mobile network. The report did not see the guilt of those responsible.
Meanwhile, the Mainz prosecutor’s office launched an investigation against former ADD vice-president Begona Hermann on suspicion of making false statements without oath. According to a spokesperson for the Rhineland-Palatinate Ministry of Justice, Hermann is said to have not told the truth to the investigating committee.
The allegations relate specifically to operations management during and in the weeks following the flood. He testified at a meeting of the investigative committee in January that he had been at the scene for eight days before a special trip to the United States, which he began two weeks after the disaster. The accusation is that he is now shorter in operations management.
An interview with Malu Dreyer about the flood disaster and her political career:
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