The federal and state governments have not yet reached a consensus on the distribution of the costs for relieving citizens and companies in view of the high energy prices. "There are still discussions about how this can be shouldered in detail," said Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) after the consultations with the prime ministers of the federal states on Tuesday in Berlin. "But I have the impression that we are on a very constructive path and that we will also come to an agreement about this task."
Scholz calculated that the previous relief packages and the special fund now planned will have a total volume of 295 billion euros. "The federal government will take on and finance almost 240, 250 billion euros of this," said the Chancellor. According to him, the concrete design of the planned electricity and gas price brake is still being discussed.
The federal government wants to protect consumers and companies from high energy prices due to the Ukraine war with a package of measures worth up to 200 billion euros. Gas and electricity prices should be capped. There should be liquidity and equity support for companies. Details are still open. The aid is to be financed through loans. The consultations also included a solution to replace the 9-euro ticket for local and regional transport that expired at the end of August.
North Rhine-Westphalia's Prime Minister Hendrik Wüst was disappointed after the consultations with the federal and state governments. The results of the meeting are "not enough," says Wüst in the evening in Berlin. The countries are ready to share the burden. But there must be a fair sharing of the burden, and it is up to the federal government to do this. This not only applies to energy costs, but also to the reception of refugees, especially from Ukraine. "The negotiations today ... can only be an intermediate step."
The Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Kretschmann, is also not satisfied with the results of the federal-state meeting. "I would have hoped that we would put a button on it, unfortunately that didn't happen," said the Green politician on Tuesday in the US city of Pittsburgh. The states are too far apart from the federal government on individual issues.
So you could not agree on the question of a "cheap ticket" for local transport, said Kretschmann. It makes no sense to introduce a cheap ticket if the states have to cancel trains at the same time because they do not receive so-called regionalization funds from the federal government. Next week it will be clarified whether there will be an agreement. By the end of the month, it should also be clarified how the federal government will contribute to the refugee costs.
Kretschmann said it was agreed that there would be a noticeable reduction in gas prices. Electricity prices would follow suit. There was agreement that companies, institutions and citizens would be noticeably relieved. However, it has not yet been possible to agree on other things because the design of the gas price brake depends on whether further aid is required for companies or hospitals, for example. This must then be clarified quickly. Kretschmann named money for hospitals, housing benefit and the assumption of refugee costs as central points of conflict.
The Green politician is currently on a delegation trip to the USA and has been connected digitally to the federal-state group from Pittsburgh in the US state of Pennsylvania. In the past few weeks, he had repeatedly insisted on more money from the federal government – including for local rail transport in the federal states.