CDU boss Friedrich Merz criticized Chancellor Olaf Scholz after the unsuccessful federal-state round of relief from the high energy prices. The Union faction leader spoke 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,” Merz told the Funke media group newspapers, referring to the two SPD politicians. Weil is the head of government in Lower Saxony, and the state elections are taking place there on Sunday.
In negotiations lasting several hours on Tuesday, the federal and state governments had not yet reached a consensus on the distribution of costs in view of the high energy prices. Scholz put the volume of the previous and planned relief at 295 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.
“Piff and Paff instead of double boom”
Scholz had described the recently presented package of billions as “double boom”. Based on this, CDU Vice President Andreas Jung criticized: “Piff and Paff instead of double boom: The MPK ended like the Hornberger 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, leave the traffic light coalition continues to poke everyone in the fog, said the politician. He warned: “Many livelihoods are acutely at stake, no more time must be wasted now.”
The German Association of Towns and Municipalities also reacted with disappointment. Managing Director Gerd Landsberg welcomed the planned brakes on gas and electricity prices in the “Rheinische Post” as “a very important signal to our society that we will get 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. North Rhine-Westphalia’s Prime Minister Hendrik Wüst (CDU) was disappointed after the deliberations and sharply criticized the federal government: “Despite the constructive attitude of the federal states, the federal government has shown little willingness to compromise on very important issues today,” he said. “We’ve only made a few steps forward today and we’re still a long way from reaching our goal.”
Prime Ministers 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” on Tuesday 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 weekend retreat 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.