Habeck appeals to the Green faction to accept Scholz’s word of power

Economics Minister Robert Habeck advocates following the Chancellor’s decision in the nuclear dispute. The affected state government in Lower Saxony, on the other hand, reacted sullenly.

Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) has campaigned to follow the Chancellor’s decision in the nuclear dispute. The fact that Olaf Scholz (SPD) has now exercised his “maximum authority” on the question of the running times of the remaining three nuclear power plants is an “unusual solution to a stuck situation,” said Habeck on Monday in the ARD “Tagesthemen”. “He took the full risk, and I will then promote the fact that we are now going this route, because everything else would not be politically responsible.”

The Greens’ leadership reacted cautiously to Scholz’s decision that the three nuclear power plants should run until mid-April 2023. The parliamentary group leadership wants to discuss the decision.

Habeck, on the other hand, described Scholz’s proposal as one “with which I can work, with which I can live”. “We had to get out of it somehow,” he added, referring to the day-long dispute, especially between the Greens and the FDP. When asked what impression the dispute had made on the citizens, he said: “Probably not a good one and it was of no use either.” Habeck expressed the hope that the traffic light coalition could now deal with other things again. “Hopefully more constructive then.”

“Now there is clarity”

On the question of whether the Atomic Energy Act could now fail in the Bundestag due to a possible lack of votes from the ranks of the Greens, Habeck said: “I don’t think so, because the country, Europe, is in a serious crisis. And then to jeopardize the government in this situation doesn’t seem proportionate at all to me. It really can’t happen.”

At a party conference over the weekend, the Greens decided to support so-called stretching operations for the Isar 2 and Neckarwestheim 2 kilns until mid-April 2023, as suggested by Habeck. The FDP had called for the third nuclear power plant in Emsland to be kept connected to the grid and for all three reactors to run until 2024.

The Greens leadership initially reacted reservedly to the Chancellor’s decision on Monday. “The Emsland nuclear power plant is not necessary for grid stability,” said the party’s co-chairman, Ricarda Lang, of the German Press Agency in Berlin. “Accordingly, we do not consider continued operation necessary.” It is clear, however, that no new fuel rods will be procured and all German nuclear power plants will go offline on April 15, 2023. Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke (Greens) made a similar statement. “Now there is clarity: the nuclear phase-out remains,” she wrote on Twitter.

State government in Lower Saxony sullen

The Green Youth, on the other hand, reacted indignantly to the decision. “That’s Basta politics, and we don’t need it,” said the co-head of the Green youth organization, Timon Dzienus, of the German Press Agency in Berlin. “We need a debate in the Bundestag on the subject.” The Green Youth also consider the decision to be wrong in terms of content, said Dzienus. “It lacks any factual basis.”

The affected state government in Lower Saxony reacted sullenly to the Chancellor’s decision and described the continued operation of the Lingen nuclear power plant as “not necessary”. Environment Minister Olaf Lies (SPD) spoke of the end of an “unspeakable debate”. The nuclear power plant in Emsland will make “no real contribution”, said Lies. There is neither a need for additional electricity in northern Germany nor do the fuel rods in Emsland have relevant reserves. Prime Minister Stephan Weil (SPD) said that the necessary conditions for continued operation would still be created and praised that at least “no new fuel rods would be bought”.

Support from the FDP

At the federal political level, the FDP immediately welcomed the decision. Finance Minister Christian Lindner said: “It is in the vital interest of our country and its economy that we maintain all energy generation capacities this winter. The Chancellor has now created clarity.” FDP parliamentary group leader Christian Dürr wrote on Twitter: “Good news against the background of the energy crisis.”

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