Germany defends its energy program in the face of European criticism

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L&rsquo ;Germany defends its energy program in the face of European criticism

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at a press briefing in Berlin, October 4, 2022

The 200 billion euro support plan released by Germany to protect its economy from the energy crisis, criticized by several European countries, is “justified”, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Tuesday.

The measures we are taking are […] justified, said the head of the German government, during a press conference with his Dutch counterpart, Mark Rutte.

While some EU officials criticize it for going it alone, Berlin argues that these measures are not isolated, and have been taken elsewhere, Scholz said.

France and Spain have put in place measures to limit the impact of soaring energy costs for consumers, as the Germany with an upcoming price cap.

Last week's announcement of this new aid, valued at 200 billion euros, angered its European partners.

Germany is being blamed for doublespeak: advocating austerity in Brussels while spending lavishly itself.

The amount and the uncoordinated nature of the initiative make certain countries fear distortions of competition, because not all European states can release such a sum.

In addition to the similar measures in other European countries, Berlin stresses that its plan will be spread over several years, which will prevent too large distortions.

These measures will be intended to fund support measures in 2023 and 2024, defended Olaf Scholz on Tuesday.

The Chancellor also refused the establishment at European level of new common borrowing instruments to respond to the crisis, like the 2020 post-COVID recovery plan.

This is what European Commissioners for the Economy and the Internal Market, Paolo Gentiloni and Thierry Breton, suggested in a column on Monday.

M. Scholz calls for instead using the sums released in 2020, a large part of which has not yet been spent by European states.

We have a huge envelope of 750 billion d& euros, the vast majority of the money of which has not yet been used, and which can be particularly effective at this time, he argued.

This European recovery plan, intended for future investments, had been released thanks to the agreement of Germany, the era governed by the conservative Angela Merkel, who had ended up rallying to the initiative.

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