High prices: countries and unions for changes to the relief package

High prices
Countries and unions for changes to relief package

The prime ministers of Bavaria, Markus Söder (l), and Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Kretschmann.  The relief package is "no

The prime ministers of Bavaria, Markus Söder (l), and Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Kretschmann. The relief package is "under no circumstances acceptable," says Söder. Baden-Württemberg has also threatened to say no to parts of the package of measures. photo

© Sven Hoppe/dpa

In the federal states there is persistent displeasure with the federal government's planned relief package against the crisis. It's all about funding. The unions are also demanding changes.

In the federal states there is persistent resistance to the third relief package the traffic light coalition. Above all, a lack of coordination between the federal government and the federal states in the financing of the individual relief measures is criticized.

"In its current form, the relief package cannot be approved," said Bavaria's Prime Minister Markus Söder of the "Welt am Sonntag". Baden-Württemberg had previously threatened to say no to parts of the bundle of measures in the Bundesrat. Criticism also comes from German trade union federation (DGB), for whom the plans do not go far enough.

the traffic light coalition presented a third package of measures to compensate for the rapidly rising prices at the beginning of September, the extent of which the government put at around 65 billion euros. The measures include, for example, one-off payments for pensioners and students and a price cap for basic energy requirements.

Dispute over 9-euro ticket successor

The coalition is also aiming for a successor to the nationwide 9-euro ticket at a price of 49 to 69 euros a month - if the federal states help finance it. The last point is particularly controversial. "It cannot be that Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing only participates in a price signal, and then it's done for him with public transport. Local transport not only has to be cheap, it also has to be available in many areas for the time being," said the Minister President of Saarland, Anne Rehlinger (SPD), the newspaper.

Basically, the dispute revolves around the distribution of the costs of the relief measures between the federal and state governments. Bremen's Mayor Andreas Bovenschulte (SPD) said the "world on Sunday": "If the division proposed by the federal government is retained, the three relief packages so far alone will cost Bremen almost 300 million euros. The federal government needs to make significant improvements here."

Söder: Never been treated so badly

Söder said: "Centralistic and lonely decisions are made that can no longer be financed by the federal states as part of the debt brake - while the federal government deals with gigantic sums in shadow budgets". The federal states have never been treated as badly by a federal government as they are today.

Saxony-Anhalt's Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff (CDU) called the federal government's dealings with the states "irresponsible". Right now you need a permanently institutionalized voting procedure between the federal and state governments, "similar to what Chancellor Merkel practiced during the Corona crisis. She was always approachable. This preliminary vote is not taking place today."

A special conference of the state leaders with Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) is planned for September 28, at which the points of contention are to be cleared up.

More demands

Meanwhile, calls for further measures beyond the relief package are already being made. Lower Saxony's Prime Minister Stephan Weil (SPD) told the German Press Agency that this could not have been the last step. Now it's still about help for companies that are in distress, he said.

The head of the German Trade Union Confederation, Yasmin Fahimi, called for a different focus. "The traffic light coalition would be better advised to agree on a few, but all the more extensive measures," she told the "Welt am Sonntag". The government should also focus more on what private households and companies need in the medium term in order to get through the crisis over a longer period of time.

Fahimi called for a gas price cap and, in the short term, an additional energy price flat rate of 500 euros per person, plus 100 euros for each child. Additional help is needed for recipients of social benefits, and more protection for tenants in the event of payment defaults.


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