German leader mulls possible energy protests – RT World News


A ‘robust economy’ and ‘stable democracy’ will help Germany get through the winter, says Chancellor Olaf Scholz

Germany will be able to get through the winter without major public unrest, Chancellor Olaf Scholz told the FAZ newspaper on Tuesday. The country is currently trying to mitigate a major energy crisis related to the reduction of gas exports from Russia.

“I do not believe in such [gloomy] prophecies”, Scholz told the newspaper when asked if he feared the potential « popular uprisings ». While admitting that his nation was facing « difficult times » relative to « very tight gas supplies », the Chancellor argued that Germany has « a robust economy, a reliable social welfare system and a stable democracy. » “If we stick together…as a nation, we will get through this,” he said.

According to Scholz, his government has already taken a wide range of measures aimed at mitigating the impending energy crisis, with solutions ranging from gas-saving measures that allowed Germany to fill its gas storages to 85% in early September. targeted assistance programs for students. and retirees.

Berlin has also reactivated coal-fired power plants and plans to keep its remaining nuclear facilities on standby beyond their scheduled disposal this year to cover additional energy needs, he added.

These are not the only measures put in place by the German authorities to save energy. Economy Minister and Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck has previously called on people to reduce their heating, sauna visits and showers to help the country reduce its dependence on Russian energy. In mid-August, he also announced that public buildings in Germany would not be allowed to set heating above 19 degrees centigrade in autumn and winter.

Authorities in Berlin said in mid-August they would turn off city lights to save energy, and Hanover went even further by cutting off hot water in public buildings, including gymnasiums and the swimming pools.

High energy costs do not please all Germans. On Monday, the eastern city of Leipzig saw protests sparked by price hikes. Demonstrations were organized by left and far right groups. The Left Party’s Leipzig office also announced a nationwide action dubbed « a warm autumn against the social cold », arguing that energy and gas prices are « out of control » while the policies of Scholz and his cabinet have « endangering millions of livelihoods. »

Security officials and the media earlier warned of a risk of major social unrest caused by high energy prices, saying the massive protests Germany has seen against Covid-19 restrictions would look like at “a child’s birthday party” about what is to come.

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