Opposition fails to push through independent flood enquiry
Calls by opposition lawmakers for an independent enquiry into torrential flooding that damaged thousands of homes and businesses in July have been rejected by parliament.
In the aftermath of the downpours, residents complained that they did not receive adequate warnings of the incoming floods, with a government report concluding that Luxembourg's alert system for warning the public of extreme weather needed to be improved.
Opposition lawmakers wanted Luxembourg to go even further and called for an independent probe into the events to assess what was communicated to people, whether the government should have done more, and how to put it right in future. The report should also look into how the information trickled down from the government to local authorities, emergency services, the media and the public, the parliamentarians said at the time.
But the proposal, put forward by Gilles Roth of the Christian Socialist Party (CSV), was rejected by parliament on Tuesday evening with 31 deputies voting against it and 29 in favour of it.
Torrential rain on 14 and 15 July caused rivers to burst their banks across the country, flooding entire towns and villages, driving thousands from their homes, and causing travel disruptions on railways and roads.
The total cost of the flood damage is estimated at €125 million – up from €120 million at the end of July - making it the most expensive event in the history of the insurance industry in Luxembourg, the ACA (l'Association des Compagnies d’Assurances et de Réassurances) said in a statement.
There have been 6,500 reports of damage to homes and businesses lodged with insurers across the Grand Duchy, and a further 1,300 cases of flooded vehicles, the ACA said. A total of 6,300 people have received compensation payments to date.