Germany’s Bundesrat approves more coal-fired power plants

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On Friday, the Bundesrat approved a large number of laws recently passed by the Bundestag. One of them is the deployment of more coal-fired power plants. Details of sueddeutsche news…

Germany's Bundesrat approves more coal-fired power plants

In view of the looming energy crisis in Germany, the Bundesrat has approved the use of more coal-fired power plants. The Bundesrat on Friday gave its blessing to numerous other laws recently passed by the Bundestag. The reform to lift the ban on advertising abortions and the Bafög reform passed by the Bundestag were also approved. The most important resolutions:

Coal:

In view of the energy crisis and the Ukraine war, the states voted in favor of using more coal-fired power plants. Thus, instead of gas-fired power plants, more coal-fired power plants are to be used to generate electricity for the time being. In addition, federal aid for ailing energy companies such as Uniper is to be made easier. The reforms are a response to the curbing of Russian gas supplies through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline. German Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) also renewed his call for the states to save energy.

Green electricity:

In terms of renewable energies, a comprehensive package of legislation was approved to accelerate the expansion of green electricity from wind and solar power. The share of electricity generated from renewable energies in electricity consumption is to be increased to at least 80 percent by 2030; currently it is just under 50 percent. Among other things, two percent of the total federal area on land is to be designated for wind turbines in order to be able to achieve the target – that’s more than doubling.

NATO:

Germany has officially approved the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO. Following the Bundestag, the Bundesrat also approved the accession of Finland and Sweden. The law is a prerequisite for Germany’s acceptance of corresponding protocols.

Abortions:

The Bundesrat also gave the green light for the lifting of the controversial ban on advertising abortions. At the end of June, the Bundestag had already approved the deletion of Section 219a of the German Criminal Code without replacement. This means that doctors will in future be able to provide detailed information on the options for terminating a pregnancy without fear of criminal prosecution.

Bafög reform:

Students can look forward to a higher Bafög rate: in the future, they will receive 452 instead of 427 euros per month. Those who no longer live with their parents can also receive 360 instead of 325 euros for rent. Students who have health and nursing care insurance themselves and not through their parents will also receive higher supplements. The rates will also be raised for schoolchildren and trainees. Students will also be able to earn more through part-time jobs.

Additional tax payments:

Taxpayers will only have to pay 1.8 instead of 6.0 percent interest per year on back payments, retroactive to January 1, 2019. However, the interest rate from which they benefit in the event of a refund from the tax office will also fall by the same amount. The interest is available for income, corporate, property, sales and trade tax. They become due if a back tax payment or refund is delayed by more than 15 months. In the first case, the treasury benefits; in the second, the taxpayer.

Press subsidy plans:

Several states want the federal government to provide financial support to press houses in light of years of shrinking circulation of printed subscription newspapers. In order to be able to guarantee regional and local press diversity, the federal government should present a funding concept in the near future, according to the motion submitted by Saxony and Lower Saxony and supported by Bremen and Schleswig-Holstein. The whole matter will now first be dealt with at committee level.

Excess profits tax:

The demand of several states for a special tax on high additional profits of companies due to the Ukraine war did not find a majority in the state chamber. The motion was put forward by the states of Bremen, Berlin, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Thuringia. The German government is also divided on the issue: While the SPD and the Greens are open to the idea, the FDP and Finance Minister Christian Lindner clearly reject such a tax.

Source: sueddeutsche

Salih Demir

Salih Demir lives in Germany. He is interested in politics and economy. Germany editor of -ancient idea- fikrikadim.com