SCHOLZ AFTER CABINET MEETING: Federal government plans new relief package

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In Meseberg, the chancellor announces a “tailor-made” package to counter rising energy prices. Economics Minister Robert Habeck defends him against criticism.

The German government plans to respond shortly to the sharp rise in energy prices with a new relief package. Work on this will be completed “soon,” said Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) on Wednesday after a cabinet meeting at Schloss Meseberg. The goal, he said, was “a very precise, a very tailored relief package.” The aim, he said, must be “to ensure that prices don’t shoot through the roof” and that citizens and businesses “can get through this difficult period in good shape.”

“We need a massive package for relief across the board,” said German Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) at the joint press conference. He still saw a possible leeway for this year “in a single-digit billion euro range.” In the coming year, Lindner assumed “with the participation of the states” a “double-digit billion amount” for relief. The previous two relief packages had a total volume of around 30 billion euros.

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At the same time, however, Lindner warned that the “roots of the problems” must be addressed. In particular, he said, this was about pricing on the electricity market. Here, he said, there was “a kind of politically engineered yield autopilot” that led to rising gas prices resulting in extra profits for electricity prices overall. The German government had therefore agreed to work on reducing uncertainty and speculation on the market.

Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) defended Scholz against criticism from within his own party. At the end of the cabinet retreat, Habeck said on Wednesday “how good it is that Olaf Scholz is leading this government.” The vice chancellor added: “With his experience, with his prudence, with his calm, he is leading this country safely through – and I’m glad it’s the same.” Earlier, Green Party deputy leader Konstantin von Notz had complained, among other things, of a “poor performance by the chancellor” and accused him of memory lapses in the tax scandal involving a Hamburg bank.

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Salih Demir

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

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