Doubts and criticism are necessary
VA year ago, our three parties decided to take responsibility for our country together. Recognizing that we are entering a decade of great change, we have forged an alliance to dare more progress. For all the differences between our three parties, we share the firm conviction that responsible politics consists of accepting challenges instead of ignoring them or putting off decisions. Even and especially when they demand something from our country. We want to actively shape change together, strengthen social cohesion, preserve freedom, prosperity and our natural foundations of life: This is how the risk of progress succeeds.
The challenges “are immense, interwoven and demanding in their simultaneity”. Less than three months after we wrote that sentence in our coalition agreement, Russia has President Putin invade Ukraine. His brutal and illegal war of aggression continues to this day. Since then, security and cohesion have been challenged in an existential way in Ukraine, also in Europe and the world. And the domestic political consequences are becoming visible with no less urgency. Energy supply, affordable energy prices, monetary stability: many things that our society thought safe were suddenly in question.
We support the courageous struggle of the Ukrainians, who are fighting for their freedom, their sovereignty and for their lives, militarily and humanitarianly, financially and with tough sanctions against Russia. The concerted action of our three parties is the immovable basis for this. We are deeply impressed by the willingness to help of countless fellow citizens who donate money and relief supplies, take in refugees, offer advice and action.
After the first cold weeks of this winter, it is evident that we are going into the coming months with full gas storage and well prepared. Thanks to a significant acceleration in planning, the first LNG terminal is about to start operations. New supply contracts have been concluded, and the supply of electricity and heat has been secured thanks to the temporarily extended operation of coal and nuclear power plants. In just a few months we managed to become independent of Russian gas. This would not have been possible if private households and companies had not also made a major contribution with their efforts to save.
“New Opportunities for Advancement and Participation”
We have cushioned the unexpected financial burden for many citizens, companies and social institutions with a total of almost 300 billion euros in several steps. These are the most extensive reliefs in the history of the Federal Republic. With the economic defense shield and the relief provided by the electricity and gas price brake, we protect people, secure jobs and our economy. Our Inflation Compensation Act will noticeably relieve 48 million taxpayers in the coming year and beyond. We make record investments in our future and prevent economic structural breaks. The fact that we are complying with the debt brake despite the enormous overall expenditure for projects in the federal budget as a result of the crisis is a step towards sustainable public finances.