“Will stand the test of time”
Habeck praises the “infinite energy” of the traffic light
The attack on Ukraine puts the traffic light coalition’s art of government under massive pressure. On the fringes of the cabinet retreat, Ministers Habeck and Lindner are confident that they will master the crisis.
Despite the current major risks for economic development, the Federal Government sees good reason for optimism as a result of the war in Ukraine. “We will get through this time,” said Economics and Climate Protection Minister Robert Habeck from the Greens on the sidelines of the cabinet meeting in Meseberg near Berlin. “The energy of this government is infinitely great.”
There are major challenges, especially because of the consequences of the Ukraine war, the federal government had lowered its growth forecast for this year significantly. Habeck specifically mentioned high energy prices and disrupted supply chains. In addition, there is a general shortage of skilled workers and the climate-friendly transformation of the economy. But the government has answers, said Habeck. “We have the financial means, we have the political concepts, we are converting the energy supply.” Trade relations should be further developed, the barriers to immigration into the German labor market should be lowered further. Planning and approval procedures, for example for renewable energies, would have to become faster.
Habeck said he assumes that members of the federal government will also travel to Ukraine in the foreseeable future. “The fact that we as a government are not there yet, as the Federal Chancellor explained, is essentially due to the fact that the Federal President was uninvited,” said the Greens politician. “But there will also be a solution. We talk to each other all the time.”
Lindner against third relief package
Finance Minister Christian Lindner from the FDP spoke of a “turning point in economic and financial policy”. In order for Germany to remain as it is, a lot has to be changed. The federal government does not leave people alone with the high energy costs. But the environment for the state has changed. “We have higher costs due to inflation.” There is a greater need for action, but at the same time inflation and the policy of the central banks are causing rising interest rates. Therefore, the state cannot continue with an expansive financial policy in the long term.
Inflation due to supply chain bottlenecks and rising energy prices “can very quickly turn into inflation that accelerates through second-round effects of a wage-price spiral,” said the FDP leader. He spoke out against a debate on a third relief package before the effects of the first two packages had reached the people.
Guests at the closed conference were Michael Hüther, head of the employer-related Institute of German Economy, and Sebastian Dullien, director of the Institute for Macroeconomics and Economic Research of the trade union-related Hans Böckler Foundation.