ARCHIV - 09.05.2022, Brandenburg, Schwedt/Oder: Dietmar Woidke (SPD), Ministerpräsident von Brandenburg, spricht nach dem Treffen mit der Belegschaft der PCK Raffinerie mit Medienvertretern. (zu dpa "Woidke fordert Versorgungssicherheit bei Öl-Embargo gegen Russland") Foto: Monika Skolimowska/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

In order for the oil refinery in Schwedt to have a future, it needs a new shareholder structure, according to Brandenburg’s Prime Minister Dietmar Woidke (SPD). He has repeatedly pointed this out to the federal government, Woidke told the Handelsblatt. There must be a solution quickly. So far, PCK has been majority owned by the Russian state-owned company Rosneft. “That is the central problem,” emphasized the head of government. “A change of ownership is needed for a good future for the Schwedt location.” He again referred to the need to secure the oil supply.

“Without the PCK refinery, there will be no secure energy supply in large parts of East Germany in the short or medium term,” said the SPD politician. That is why production must be secured for the next few years. The country wants a “guarantee of existence” for this.

This Monday, the federal-state project group “Taskforce Schwedt” will be carrying out its work for the second time. The leader is the Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Economics, Michael Kellner (Greens). At a rally in Schwedt last Wednesday, PCK employees and residents again demanded guarantees for jobs and political support for the conversion of the site from the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, Robert Habeck (Greens). Habeck promised that the federal government would step in financially in the event of a Russian oil supply stop for the PCK.

Brandenburg’s head of government sees Germany facing difficult economic times. “We are heading for a severe economic crisis,” he told the newspaper before the start of Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s “concerted action” with employers and unions this Monday in the Chancellery. The reason for the meeting is the sharp increase in consumer prices.

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Woidke expects the energy crisis to worsen in the coming months. “This crisis will be a stress test for Germany,” he said with conviction. He considers another relief package to be indispensable. He hopes that the meeting will result in “agreements that will help the German economy, especially the energy-intensive companies that are particularly hard hit by energy prices”.

Woidke is critical of a tax-free one-time payment from employers to relieve citizens. His suggestion: to support people who have to drive to work every day and have no alternative to the car. “We should definitely increase the commuter allowance.” The instrument has proven its worth.