VBefore the top-level talks between the federal and state governments on Tuesday with Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), the prime ministers of the federal states are still calling for the federal government to share appropriately in the costs of the planned relief measures. They also pushed for more speed with the planned gas price brake.
“My expectations of the MPK on Tuesday are very clear: a constructive discussion about fair burden sharing,” said Rhineland-Palatinate Prime Minister Malu Dreyer (SPD) of the “Rheinische Post”. In addition to the third relief package that had already been decided, she expressly referred this demand to the financing of the 200 billion euro defense shield that the federal government announced on Thursday. A key component of this package is a gas price brake.
Dreyer recalled that the 16 heads of government of the federal states had previously called on the federal government to introduce an energy price cap in order to mitigate the rising energy costs and the severe consequences for the population and the economy. “Not even 24 hours later, the chancellor announced a gas and electricity price cap. This is a very strong signal that in these very difficult times for Germany, a lot can be achieved with unity between the federal, state and local governments,” Dreyer continued.
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Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia Hendrik Wüst (CDU) pushed for a quick implementation of the gas price brake. “People finally want to know how high the relief is for them personally,” and many companies are “water up to their necks,” he told the “Stuttgarter Zeitung” and the “Stuttgarter Nachrichten”. “Every day counts.” The federal government’s prospect of submitting a concept by mid-October comes “much too late”.
In addition to the gas price brake, the federal states are pushing for higher regionalization funds from the federal government for local public transport in addition to the funds offered for a follow-up regulation for the 9-euro ticket. They are also demanding more money to finance housing benefits and to relieve hospitals.
“Just in time”
Saxony’s Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer (CDU) accused the federal government of playing for time. “It doesn’t work that way,” he criticized in the “Rheinische Post” for delays in aid for municipal energy suppliers and the health sector. Now there must be “a systemic solution”.
Hamburg’s Mayor Peter Tschentscher (SPD) signaled his basic willingness to support the relief planned by the federal government. There must be “a way that is acceptable for everyone”, but he also urged that the burden be shared. Tschentscher also referred to burdens due to the high number of refugees to be admitted again.
The President of the German Association of Cities, Markus Lewe, called for unity in the newspapers of the Funke media group of the federal and state governments. With a view to the municipalities, he called for more support for the municipal utilities. Lewe said that the gas price brake would come “just in time”.
The German Hospital Society (DKG) again pushed for more support. While other companies could offset some of the cost increases by raising prices or saving money by lowering the temperatures, this was not possible for the clinics, said DKG chairman Gerald Gass to the “Spiegel”.