Berlin, Deutschland 6. Juli 2022: 46. Sitzung des Deutschen Bundestags - 2022 Im Bild: Blick von der Besuchertribüne während der Befragung von Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz (SPD)

It happens what the traffic light coalition partners feared in a small group. The AfD, which was recently shaken by quarrels and electoral defeats, is building up its next campaign topic. Following the example of Marie Le Pen, the MPs act with questionable theses as advocates for the little people, who are shaken by price increases and the consequences of sanctions against Russia.

And so a duel developed in the Bundestag between MP Steffen Kotré and Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD). The entire event of this chancellor survey could be overwritten with “What now, Mr. Scholz?”.

Because governing feels like quicksand, it’s slipping everywhere – and Scholz, as a stoic, is trying to give orientation.

Kotré accuses Scholz of tearing the country into the abyss with a completely misguided energy policy. Hot water will soon have to be rationed, all of which is also a consequence of the sanctions against Russia. Scholz counters that it’s all pretty far from reality. “They don’t realize that there really is a war in Ukraine.”

Kotré asks again, if Nord Stream 1 cannot be fully operated at the moment, why not put the completed Nord Stream 2 tube into operation? Incidentally, Kotré is very close to Left-wing MP Klaus Ernst, who is also demanding talks about gas transport through the Nord Stream 2 pipe due to the gas shortage.

Kotré, like another AfD MP later, insinuated that the sanctions would harm the German people more than Vladimir Putin, that the ruble was stronger than it had been in years. “How can you help the people of Ukraine when we’re freezing here? “, he asks. Scholz countered with one sentence: “I’ll make it clear: the AfD is not only a right-wing populist party, but also the party of Russia.”

The chancellor is trying to paint a picture of a government that has the situation under control. Linke boss Janine Wissler wants to know what Scholz always means when he hooks up, for example in the concerted action he initiated by employers and trade unions. wage restraint? Scholz remains vague, the next meeting is not planned until September.

The question is how he intends to finance further relief if the debt brake is to take effect again from 2023. He affirmed that a citizen’s allowance should come that should relieve the burden on lower incomes in particular.

And the minimum wage will rise to 12 euros from October, and many of the effects of the two relief packages worth 30 billion, such as the reduction in electricity prices, have not yet reached the public. “Everything fits together,” says the Chancellor. But will the debt brake work? FDP boss and Finance Minister Christian Lindner has declared them non-negotiable.

The Union plays the opposition role for Scholz a little more unpleasantly than the AfD. Group Vice President Johann Wadephul asked Scholz exactly the question that a journalist from Deutsche Welle asked him at the G7 summit in Elmau. Whether he could say what security guarantees Germany and the other G7 countries want to give Ukraine. “Yes, I could,” Scholz said in Elmau. Then said nothing, grinned and the journalist, who was waiting for further explanations, rebuffed her with the words “That’s it”.

He now answers Wadephul’s question in more detail, without saying much more, just this much: This is not about the duty to provide assistance as in Article 5 of the NATO treaty, so there is still no direct military intervention.

In his inquiry, Wadephul wants to know why Scholz didn’t answer like that in Elmau and rejected the DW journalist so brusquely. Scholz’ answer: “Dear Member of Parliament, I have answered this question as I have answered you.”

Later, the CSU MP Anja Weisgeber said to Scholz: “I noticed that you often answer questions from women in a didactic manner”. She wants to know what the concrete plan looks like to prevent a gas shortage in winter. This gives the Chancellor the opportunity to unravel all the measures again.

The state-ordered filling of gas storage facilities, getting discarded coal-fired power plants out of the reserve, new LNG terminals, an energy security law to save energy suppliers with billions if necessary, who now have to buy gas elsewhere for a lot of money. “There has been a very comprehensive response.”

But Weisgeber also reveals a conflict in the coalition. “We need every kilowatt hour, why don’t you let the three nuclear power plants continue to run for a limited period of time?” Scholz says that this question is being dealt with professionally and “completely unideologically”. The three power plants are supposed to replace as much gas as possible with their production this summer, but this is only about electricity production. So that doesn’t solve the bottlenecks in using gas for heating.

The experts from the responsible ministries came to the conclusion that the power plants can be shut down as planned at the end of 2022. He doesn’t say that Steffi Lemke (environment) and Robert Habeck (economy) are two Greens who made the decision. And hides behind their examination without seriously considering the new arguments. The situation just got a lot worse.

The fact that the European Parliament now classifies investments in gas and nuclear power as sustainable and thus facilitates this is criticized by the federal government for nuclear, but it was Scholz himself who even softened the decision from the climate summit and investments in the G7 circle because of the threat of further supply cuts by Russia into new gas projects beyond 2022.

These days, Germany is falling victim to a policy by the Union and the SPD that has increased its gas dependency on Russia to over 55 percent.

The CDU/CSU now want to force the traffic lights to take an oath and, this Thursday, to vote on the continued operation of the last three nuclear power plants beyond 2022, which poses a dilemma for the FDP in particular; because Christian Lindner’s party has clearly spoken out in favor of extending the term. Voting is scheduled for the evening at 10:05 p.m. Then Scholz will have to come in again.