Bundescancer Olaf Scholz (SPD) welcomed the punishment of crimes committed by the activist group “Last Generation”. On the question of a legal classification as a criminal group, he wanted to address the “Cologne City Gazette“ do not express. “It’s not up to me to decide, but our judiciary, and it acts independently.” But he added: “Criminal offenses are clearly being committed here repeatedly, and the rule of law cannot ignore that.”
Scholz defended his statement that the activists, who drew attention to themselves by blocking traffic and defacing art, be “completely crazy”. “I’m not mincing my words,” said the Chancellor. “Of all the protests of the last few decades, it is probably the one that has had the least effect – apart from getting everyone upset about it, even the well-meaning ones. The climate advocates are doing the cause, i.e. climate protection, a disservice.”
Scholz: The heating law should be in parliament before the summer break
In the conversation, Scholz also promised a speedy revision of the heating law, so that it will be in the Bundestag by the beginning of July. “Everyone involved has this ambition. And have assured that the open questions will be discussed very quickly,” said the Chancellor when asked whether the law would be introduced to Parliament before the summer break. The draft law – which will ban pure oil and gas heating in new buildings from 2024 – is now being discussed and improved in Parliament. All three factions of the coalition worked on it.
Regarding the open conflict between the Greens and FDP over the law, the chancellor said: “I don’t hide the fact that these discussions could also be conducted quietly for my taste.” – “which inevitably sometimes leads to more lively discussions than if you wanted to change little or nothing at all”. When asked whether his relationship with Economics Minister Robert Habeck was unencumbered, Scholz said: “Definitely yes.” The heating law is the responsibility of the Green politician.
Scholz: To create compliance with the debt brake
Another controversial issue within the traffic light coalition is the budget. Scholz is still in favor of compliance with the debt brake in the draft budget for 2024. “Due to the consequences of the corona pandemic and the Russian attack on Ukraine, all together, an additional 800 billion euros have been spent to keep the citizens and the economy safe to bring these hard times. The challenge we are now facing is not small, but it can be done,” said the SPD politician to the “Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger”. “We are now carefully discussing how we do this in government.”
The Chancellor said that he saw just as little basis for a renewed suspension of the debt brake as for a broadening of the state’s income side. “The possibility of deviating from the limit on new borrowing is not at the discretion of parliament and government. The current framework conditions with full employment, a shortage of skilled workers and the overall economic situation do not suggest that the rule should be suspended again.” At the same time, Scholz referred to the coalition agreement: “Tax increases are not part of what the three coalition parties have agreed on.”
The government is still arguing about itwhich departments have to save how much in the coming year. Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) has therefore announced that he will not be able to present his draft budget for 2024 to the cabinet on June 21, as planned.
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