In 2009, nuclear power supplied 25% of Germany’s electricity. As a result of the December 2021 election, which produced an Olaf Scholz-led traffic light coalition of the SPD, FDP, and Greens, the federal government announced they would shut down the last three functioning modern nuclear power plants this year. Yet in a belated outburst of rationality, the German government has decided to keep them open – for now. The Green Party, which has delivered Germany into reliance on the kindness of Vladimir Putin, is reluctantly going along with the “temporary” policy reversal.
With energy prices rising almost exponentially, German industrial production was suffering badly. Business logic was always likely to prevail over politics. Whatever German industry wants, German industry tends to get…
Yesterday’s Observer carried a nose-butting op-ed from Annalena Baerbock, Germany’s minister for foreign affairs, who in a joint byline with Simon Coveney slammed the UK government’s “unilateral” plans to change the Northern Ireland protocol and threaten the “rules-based international order”. According to the German government, there is “no legal or political justification” for the government’s proposal to de-restrict goods shipping between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. “We urge the British government to step back from their unilateral approach and show the same pragmatism and readiness to compromise that the EU has shown,” they say…
The UK government will be rightfully outraged at this hypocritical de haut en bas attitude from the German government. While their foreign minister is telling the UK to accept a border within the UK, five days ago president Olaf Sholz sought to cool tensions in the Baltics by urging Lithuania and the EU to lift restrictions on freight going from Russia to their Kaliningrad exclave, arguing war crime-committing Russia should be able to move goods freely through the EU single market because it’s all part of their country. If only Germany relied on Great Britain for swathes of their gas…
To compound the outrage, Annalena Baerbock’s op-ed went on to cite the Ukraine war as a reason against the UK’s unilateral move against the Northern Ireland protocol:
“In these difficult times, as Russia is leading a ruthless war in Ukraine, breaking with our European peace order, the EU and UK must stand together as partners with shared values and a commitment to uphold and strengthen the rules-based international order.”
If Germany is demanding the UK “show the same pragmatism and readiness to compromise the EU has shown”, perhaps they should be consistent in countenancing facilitations of moving goods around the continent for both Great Britain and Russia. Germany seems keener to appease Russia’s desire to export weapons to Kaliningrad than Britain’s desire to export sausages to Northern Ireland…
While FBPEers try sniping the government at any opportunity, in the real world an astonishing poll puts into perspective just how well the PM’s handled Ukraine in the eyes of those who matter: Ukrainians.
The poll conducted by US outlet Cyngnal finds Boris’s net approval rating in Ukraine is second only to that of Zelenskyys, and is well ahead of Biden and Sholtz.
The UK also stands as the most popular ally in all this, 14 points ahead of the EU and 23 points ahead of the US:
Following the Kosovo conflict, parents started calling boys Tonibler – will Boris be the new baby name de jour of Ukraine when all this is over?
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has again ruled out suspending purchases of Russian gas and oil on the grounds that Europe’s energy supplies “cannot be be secured in any other way”:
“All our steps are designed to hit Russia sensitively and to be sustainable over the long term. Europe has deliberately exempted energy supplies from Russia from sanctions. At the moment, Europe’s supply of energy for heat generation, mobility, power supply and industry cannot be secured in any other way. It is therefore of essential importance for the provision of public services and the daily lives of our citizens.
The German government has been working hard for months with its partners within the European Union and beyond to develop alternatives to Russian energy. However, this cannot be done overnight. That is why it is a conscious decision on our part to continue the activities of business
enterprises in the area of energy supply with Russia.”
Obviously saying the quiet part out loud. So long as Russia can keep selling its oil, it can keep firing its weapons…
Shipping 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 surface-to-air missiles from German military stocks* to Ukraine isn’t the only policy change from Berlin, in an emergency meeting of the Bundestag he told the assembled German parliamentarians that
“In attacking Ukraine, Putin doesn’t just want to eradicate a country from the world map, he is destroying the European security structure…”
As a result Germany would allocate this year €100 billion to modernise the threadbare German armed forces, “From now on, more than 2% of our GDP will be invested in our defence”.
In addition he signalled that renewables alone could not wean Germany off Russian gas, the phasing out of coal would be reconsidered. Germans won’t shiver at Putin’s whim…
*Less widely reported is that Estonia and the Netherlands were also given the permission of the German government to transfer German-made weapons to Ukraine.