Thursday, November 4th, 2021
Greens boss in the “ntv early start”
Habeck: “Vaccinated people will have more freedom”
Greens boss Habeck is calling for the free tests to be returned in view of the rising number of corona infections. In addition, the Greens boss expects further restrictions for unvaccinated people. He also comments on the World Climate Conference – and calls the 1.5 degree target increasingly unrealistic.
The Greens chairman Robert Habeck considers the current corona situation to be depressing and dangerous, but not really surprising. “The vaccination rate is below 70 percent, the delta variant is more contagious than the variants before it – and the rest is mathematics,” says the Green boss in the “ntv early start”. “Above all, we should offer free tests. It was already a mistake then to stop them, it was a measure to motivate the non-vaccinated negatively.” Vaccination is the best protection. The risk of getting sick and having a difficult course is extremely high.
Habeck sees it in a similar way to Chancellor Angela Merkel, who spoke on the CDU’s federal executive board that unvaccinated people were threatened with severe restrictions in the future. “That will happen because the vaccinated have a higher level of protection and interventions in freedom are always subject to justification. This means that those who are less endangered by the course of the disease will have more freedom.” The stronger the fourth wave becomes, the more this logic applies, says Habeck.
Habeck, on the other hand, thinks little of the convening of another conference of prime ministers. “The Prime Minister’s Conference is a coordinating body, not a decision-making body, and that has not worked really well in the past.” The decision-making bodies are the federal government and the respective states. If the country leaders wanted to exchange ideas, it would be quite possible without a conference. “All of the countries have telephones.”
1.5 degree target is becoming “increasingly unrealistic”
With a view to the World Climate Conference in Glasgow, Habeck says that the 1.5 degree target, i.e. limiting the rise in temperature, could theoretically still be achieved. “But with every day, with every month that goes by, it becomes increasingly unrealistic.” The situation in Germany is similar: the past ten years have been bitterly revenged. “The next federal government will have the task of coming back from an enormous deficit. That is a Herculean task.” You can do it, says Habeck, because technical and social developments are not linear. “If we go all out, put all the pressure on the present, then we have a chance to get close to the 1.5 degree target, but not at the pace of the past.”
According to Habeck, Germany’s coal phase-out as quickly as possible is without an alternative. “If we don’t manage to get out of coal, how are we going to ask China, India and, above all, Africa not to get into coal? Germany has a role model function and must therefore be better than the others. “Otherwise we will completely lose the moral reason to demand something from them,” said Habeck. The more countries move towards climate neutrality and merge, the stronger this economic area will become. “And then there is a strong incentive to join this,” said the Greens leader.
Habeck does not believe in extending the service life of nuclear power plants in Germany. “This is not a debate that we can usefully lead in Germany, because the nuclear power plant operators have absolutely no interest in it.”
Because of the foreseeable phase-out of nuclear power and coal, the traffic light groups are relying on gas – and this increases their dependence on Russia. “That’s right. We have to write that behind our own ears,” says the Greens co-chair. Gas is the logical consequence as a bridging technology for a period of maybe ten years. The CO2 emissions from gas are significantly lower than from coal. “Of course, the fact that we only get the gas from Russia and that Nord Stream 2 increases our dependency is of course a miserable situation. We can be blackmailed, you have to be very clear,” said Habeck. If the energy supply had been diversified, Germany would not be so dependent on Russia.
“Lukashenko is fighting for political survival”
Habeck cannot imagine that Belarusian President Lukashenko will send migrants to Europe without Moscow’s approval. “Belarus has his back against the wall, Lukashenko is fighting for his political survival and – you really have to say how shabby that is – uses people as weapons against Europe.” But the airlines, according to Habeck, do not have to participate and they have to be sanctioned.
Habeck rejects rejections at the Polish-Belarusian border. “Pushbacks are against European law. We then make victims who are already pinched, we cannot do that.” Whoever reaches Europe must have the chance of an asylum procedure. “Not everyone who has no right to asylum can stay here,” continues Habeck. That is the logical consequence of a test procedure. “Possibly allowing people to freeze to death in the forest in winter and then say that we are proud Europeans, that is of course not possible.”
“Personnel questions come at the end”
The chairman of the Greens does not want to participate in the speculation about who will take over the Federal Ministry of Finance in a possible traffic light coalition. Habeck is not impressed either by the latest Forsa survey, according to which voters would prefer FDP chief Christian Lindner to be finance minister. “We’re not at the casting here, we’re not looking for Germany’s most beautiful Something Ministers. There is no next top model show here.” The polls were interesting during the election campaign, now “everything is for your feet”. Habeck: “We’re making a coalition agreement that will hopefully be enough for a stable, dynamic government for the next four years. The personnel issues come at the end.”
According to Habeck, the future federal government’s vehicle fleet should consist of low-emission vehicles as far as possible. As a minister in Schleswig-Holstein, the leasing system always allowed the cars with the lowest emissions to be driven. He recommends a similar procedure to the next government. For certain people such as the Federal Chancellor, Federal President and some ministers, there is not much choice. These are at risk as public persons, and here one has to accept that they need a company car for safety reasons. Habeck: “If the Federal Chancellor rides his bike to the Chancellery every morning and gets a stone thrown at his head after 14 days, nothing is gained.”
During the election campaign, he used a small e-bus, a German make with a mileage of 400 kilometers. “Cool things that we used to go surfing with, only now of course new and chic.” That was great – and just unimaginable four years ago. Now he has used it for the entire election campaign. “Went like sliced bread.”