BAt the traditional political morning pint at the Gillamoos folk festival in Abensberg, Bavaria, the Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, Hendrik Wüst (CDU), clearly criticized the traffic light coalition’s third relief package. “The traffic light is moving at a snail’s pace,” said Wüst on Monday in the Hofbräu tent in Abensberg, Lower Bavaria, with a view to the federal government’s third relief package. The coalition presented “big words, big numbers” on Sunday, but the people in the country needed clarity on how to get through the winter. They deserved better than traffic light coalition politics.
Wüst also sharply attacked Chancellor Scholz in his speech. This is a “man who hesitates and hesitates” in supporting Ukraine. “There is no direction, there is no clarity.” The only question that Scholz ever answered clearly was the question “Do you accept the election?”
The Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) admitted in his speech in Abensberg that “a lot is going in the right direction” with the relief package, “some injustice is being eliminated”.
“Putin is playing his game with us”
At the same time, he criticized the fact that the traffic light’s overall strategy had not been thought through and that – despite the planned involvement of the federal states in the financing of the projects – the prime ministers had not been spoken to in advance.
In addition, when the package was presented through the traffic lights, “not a word was said about replacement energy”. When it came to procuring this replacement energy, none of the Federal Government’s trips, such as the recent one to Canada, had had any effect. “You can feel every day that Putin is playing with us,” said Söder.
According to the CSU chairman, Bavaria supports the people who have fled Ukraine where it can. “But I expect a government in Germany not only to look after Ukraine, but to look after its own people.”
In order to prevent an emergency not only in the gas but also in the power supply, the way must finally be cleared for the continued operation of the nuclear power plants.
The traffic light coalition presented a third relief package on Sunday, the size of which the government estimates at around 65 billion euros. Among other things, private households should receive the amount of electricity for basic consumption at a discounted price. Pensioners are to receive a one-off energy price lump sum of 300 euros as of December 1st. Students and vocational school students should receive a one-time payment of 200 euros. With the further development of the current Hartz IV system planned for January 1st, those in need should receive a standard rate of 50 euros higher – around 500 euros a month.
For Wüst, who has been leading the first black-green state government in North Rhine-Westphalia since the end of June, it was the first appearance at the political morning pint on the Gillamoos.
Kühnert, Hofreiter, Aiwanger spoke
Unlike Wüst, who has had a state election behind him, Söder has to win one next year. His CSU was around 40 percent in the most recent polls in June. Everything in this area should be a success for Söder in autumn 2023 – in the 2018 state election, the CSU only got 37.2 percent, a historically poor result.
At the SPD Secretary General Kevin Kühnert was announced as the main speaker. The chairman of the European Committee in the Bundestag, Anton Hofreiter, wanted to speak to the Greens. The Bavarian Economics Minister and Federal Chairman Hubert Aiwanger was to give the main speech for the Free Voters, for the FDP the parliamentary group leader Martin Hagen.
The Gillamoos is a funfair with a tradition going back more than 700 years. He is nationally known for the political speeches on the last day of the festival. The morning pint marks the end of the political summer break in Bavaria.
Because of the corona pandemic, the political morning pint had taken place in the past two years without federal political celebrities and without a folk festival. As an alternative, some parties organized a morning pint that was broadcast online. After the political Ash Wednesday, the Gillamoos is the second major political event in Bavaria, where politicians from different parties advertise their positions and dish out against their competitors.