Lindner defends debt: Scholz promises “massive reduction” in gas prices

Lindner defends debt
Scholz promises “massive reduction” in gas prices

With a “defense shield” of 200 billion euros, the federal government wants to protect citizens and companies from unbearable costs in the energy crisis. In the evening, the Chancellor comments on the project – and at the same time dampens the hope that the effects will be felt in the next few weeks.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz has defended the federal government’s new aid package worth billions and the debt it requires. “This is an acute crisis, you have to act urgently,” said Scholz in ZDF’s “heute-journal”. “Prices are too high and need to go down.” The additional borrowing required for this is justifiable, according to the SPD politician. “Since we have always managed well, (…) we can do what we have often done in such situations: take out loans in a crisis situation,” said the Chancellor.

According to Chancellor Olaf Scholz, gas prices for citizens and entrepreneurs in Germany will fall drastically as a result of the government’s new measures. “It’s about a massive reduction in gas prices,” said Scholz on Thursday on ZDF. The commission that has been appointed will make proposals “in mid-October or a little earlier” on the precise design of the gas price brake. The government will then subsidize prices down for as long as they are too high.

On “RTL Aktuell” the chancellor dampened the hope that the relief could reach citizens’ wallets as early as October: “It will certainly not be that easy, because we have to organize that the excessively high prices for Gas that is paid for on the world market must be subsidized down,” said Scholz. Asked whether the relief would be noticeable for people this year, Scholz said: “We are very sure that this will work.

In the meantime, care will be taken to ensure that more natural gas is available to replace Russian supplies. “In the end, prices should reach normal levels again,” said Scholz on ARD, without saying what price level he meant by that. Germany has the financial strength to stick to this course, Scholz said. It has the lowest debt ratio among the major western industrialized countries (G7). As much money will be used as is needed in 2022, 2023 and, if necessary, also in 2024.

Lindner speaks of an “exceptional situation”

The government had previously announced a protective shield of up to 200 billion euros. Scholz defended himself against the accusation that it was a shadow household. Germany took out large loans earlier during the crisis and then repaid them after the crisis because it was able to maintain its economic strength. This will also be the case this time.

Federal Minister of Finance Christian Lindner also justified the step with the recent events. “The situation has worsened due to the previously unsolved acts of sabotage” on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines in the Baltic Sea, he said in the ARD daily topics. Russian President Vladimir Putin is threatening “what people have built up over decades, our economic structure.” The FDP politician emphasized: “We are now defending ourselves with a defensive screen.”

This must be financed “over the next few years with debt on the capital market,” said the finance minister. In this exceptional situation, “exceptional economic and financial policy instruments” should also be used. In the long term, however, compliance with the debt brake is his goal.

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