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Energy crisis in Germany: Habeck rebuilds ministry

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Economics Minister Habeck wants to create a new department for energy security in his house. It has already been decided who will lead this. Yesterday Habeck reported to the BDI about the high workload in his house.

In response to the energy crisis, Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck is restructuring his ministry. The Green politician is setting up a new department for energy security and economic stabilization. This was confirmed by a spokeswoman for the dpa news agency.

This should create new synergies and concentrate tasks more. In combating the energy and economic crisis, the “clout” should be upheld and strengthened.

Much criticism because of the gas surcharge

The new department is to be headed by Philipp Steinberg, who has previously headed Department I Economic Policy. In this function, Steinberg was also responsible for stabilization measures by companies such as Uniper and Lufthansa. According to the spokeswoman, a new department management position is not necessary because two departments have been merged.

The Economics Ministry is primarily concerned with the consequences of the energy crisis triggered by the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. Above all, there is criticism of Habeck because of the gas levy. He originally brought this into play. The losses that the large gas importers make due to the lack of gas deliveries from Russia are to be distributed to all gas customers via them.

Reserve operation or runtime extension?

However, it is legally unclear whether the energy company Uniper, which is to be nationalized, would also benefit from the funds. “The gas levy should now be put to the test,” SPD leader Klingbeil told the editorial network Germany. Habeck announced changes on Thursday.

There is also a dispute within the governing coalition about extending the lifetime of nuclear power plants. Habeck’s ministry wants to keep two out of three reactors as a hidden reserve in winter, and the third is to be shut down by the end of the year. However, the coalition partner FDP advocates keeping all three nuclear power plants connected to the grid until 2024.

“People get sick”

So the pressure on Habeck and his staff is high. On Thursday, at a congress of the Federation of German Industries, he complained about the high workload in his ministry: “People are getting sick. They’re burned out, they get tinnitus. They can’t take it anymore.” It’s always the same people who make the laws because that’s the way the house is built. The tourism department cannot design the electricity market.

Habeck reported that 20 laws and 28 ordinances had been passed in his ministry in the past nine months. “I would have to count how many laws the Ministry of Economic Affairs made in the last legislature.” He would guess there were fewer, so Habeck. He also criticized an “outgrowth” in EU state aid law. You have “buried yourself” in lots of pitfalls.