Vice Chancellor under fire
Baerbock jumps to the side of Habeck in the heating dispute
6/3/2023 1:48 am
The traffic light coalition is arguing about Habeck’s new heating law. The Vice Chancellor has to listen to criticism, especially from the ranks of the FDP. The minister is now receiving supportive words from his party colleague Baerbock.
In the struggle for the heating law, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock supported Economics Minister Robert Habeck. “In a headwind, especially when it’s nasty, it’s important to stand together, and that’s what Robert and I do,” Baerbock told the newspapers of the Funke media group. Habeck has “no reason to go in sackcloth and ashes”. She added: “When Putin turned off the gas supply to us, he got us through an extremely difficult winter against all odds as Vice-Chancellor and Economy Minister.”
The law is controversial in the traffic light coalition. Due to fundamental concerns, the FDP has so far prevented the draft law on heating replacement that has already been passed by the cabinet from being dealt with in the Bundestag. This stipulates that from the beginning of 2024 every newly installed heating system should be operated with at least 65 percent green energy. The switch is to be socially cushioned by state funding, and there should also be transitional periods and hardship regulations.
“It is more than clear to me – and Robert Habeck even more so – how many questions and uncertainties there are with the heating law, because people in Germany live very differently and therefore also heat,” said Baerbock. Referring to the opposition, she added: “But what I absolutely cannot understand is that those who just recently couldn’t get enough of Russian gas and overslept the energy transition now consider themselves the greatest heating experts. ”
When asked about the Greens’ weak polls, the minister said that the coalition as a whole had gone up and down in the polls in recent months. If the impression is created that the government is primarily concerned with itself, it is a shame for everyone. “Wherever we give joint answers to the massive crises of our time, such as solving the gas crisis or supporting Ukraine, we create trust. And that’s what politics is all about.”