No federal-state agreement
Merz laments “evening of missed opportunities”
10/05/2022 5:48 am
Energy price brake, 9-euro ticket successor, housing benefit expansion – the federal government wants to relieve the inflation-plagued citizens, but who should pay for it? The federal and state governments do not agree in four-hour negotiations and adjourn. Union boss Merz uses the opportunity to scold the chancellor.
The Union blames the federal government and Chancellor Olaf Scholz for the lack of agreement between the federal and state governments on the financing of relief. CDU leader Friedrich Merz spoke in the newspapers of the Funke media group of an “evening of missed opportunities that leaves the citizens unsettled”. “The chairman of the Prime Ministers’ Conference, Stephan Weil, and Chancellor Olaf Scholz are solely responsible for the fact that there are no results,” said Merz, referring to both SPD politicians. Weil is the head of government in Lower Saxony, and the state elections are taking place there on Sunday.
Citizens and companies must continue to wait for concrete answers as to how they can be relieved in the face of high energy prices. The federal and state governments did not reach a consensus on the distribution of the costs during negotiations lasting several hours on Tuesday. Scholz put the volume of the previous and planned relief at 295 billion euros, of which the federal government would assume 240 to 250 billion euros.
The concrete form of the planned electricity and gas price brake, a follow-up solution for the 9-euro ticket for local and regional transport that expired at the end of August and the question of costs for the housing benefit expansion are still open. Scholz had described the recently presented 200 billion package as “double boom”. Based on this, CDU Vice President Andreas Jung criticized: “Piff and Paff instead of double boom: The MPK ended like the Hornberg shooting – and the federal government is responsible for that.” Instead of finally creating clarity for this winter in view of the escalation caused by the price explosion, the traffic light coalition is leaving everyone poking around in the fog, said the energy expert. He warned: “Many livelihoods are acutely at stake, no more time can be wasted now.”
SPD is confident
The German Association of Towns and Municipalities also reacted with disappointment. Managing Director Gerd Landsberg welcomed the planned brake on gas and electricity prices in the “Rheinische Post” as “a very important signal to our society that we are getting through the crisis”. The defense shield could also make an important contribution against a severe recession and inflationary pressure. However, Landsberg regretted the lack of agreement on financing the accommodation and care of refugees. “Time is pressing, winter is just around the corner,” he warned.
The state leaders gave different assessments of the federal-state talks. Prime Ministers of the Union were rather critical. “Despite the constructive attitude of the federal states, the federal government has shown little willingness to compromise on very important issues today,” said Hendrik Wüst, Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, from the CDU. Colleagues with SPD party membership, on the other hand, expressed confidence that the federal and state governments would still find an agreement.
Saarland’s Prime Minister Anke Rehlinger spoke of a “structural deficiency” in the evening on ZDF with a view to the lack of a basis for decisions. The commission set up for the gas price brake only wants to work out a “resilient proposal” at a meeting next weekend and present it to politicians, as the commission chairmen explained on Tuesday. Individual reference was also made to the tax estimate due at the end of October. Before that, the Prime Ministers’ Conference will meet in Hanover from October 19th to 21st for its regular annual conference.