Citizens and companies in Brandenburg cannot hope for a complete state compensation for all consequences of the Ukraine war. “We will not be able to fully compensate for the loss of profits by companies and the loss of purchasing power by consumers with taxpayers’ money,” said Economics Minister Jörg Steinbach (SPD) on Thursday in the state parliament in Potsdam.
He referred to federal aid such as support for small and medium-sized companies and relief for employees because of high prices for heating, driving and in the supermarket. The state cannot provide any financial help here: “The federal states lack the corresponding budgetary leeway in this dimension.”
In the current hour on “War in Europe, energy crisis and inflation”, the opposition AfD parliamentary group called, among other things, for the goal of climate neutrality to be put on hold for the time being. It was this goal that brought Brandenburg into the predicament of soon being completely dependent on foreign energy imports, according to a motion for a resolution.
The AfD also demands the continued operation of the PCK refinery in Schwedt with Russian oil and the continued use of lignite. The planned EU oil embargo against Russia will unnecessarily aggravate the situation.
However, according to the Federal Ministry of Economics, dependence on energy imports from Russia has already decreased. Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) is looking for alternative oil supplies via Rostock and Gdansk for the PCK refinery in Schwedt/Oder, in which primarily Russian oil is processed, and wants to keep the location.
Continuing to rely on energy sources from Russia is not an option, said Steinbach. “Because Russia could abuse a delivery stop at any time as a means of political pressure.”
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According to AfD parliamentary group leader Hans-Christoph Berndt, the current symptoms of the crisis were “noticeable long before the Ukraine war”. Berndt said it was not the fault of Russian President Vladimir Putin that petrol costs significantly more in Germany than in Poland and that all Ukrainians – unlike in the USA – are taken directly into the social security system.
The CDU parliamentary group leader, Jan Redmann, accused the AfD of “sucking up Putin and his henchmen (…) in the butt”. “You are closer to Russia than Germany,” he said to the opposition. At the same time, the CDU MP Barbara Richstein called for maintaining the thread of talks with Russia without leaving the “thread of values” of the EU and NATO.
Left faction leader Sebastian Walter called for more support, especially for low earners, such as a permanent 9-euro ticket. Free voter MP Philip Zeschmann accused the state government of not having any proposals to relieve companies directly.