The question of who is to blame for the tank discount, which has so far not been able to unfold its relief effect, runs like chewing gum through Markus Lanz’s talk show. Guests: Ex-Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier (CDU), co-party leader Omid Nouripour (Die Grünen), journalist Eva Quadbeck from the “RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland” and political scientist Jana Puglierin from the “European Council on Foreign Relations”.
Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP), who only said on Tuesday at “Maischberger” that his idea of subsidies for wholesalers would have passed the full tax cut on to consumers, provided explosive fuel. But: “That could not be enforced in the coalition because of the Greens.” Lanz had the video displayed and demanded a statement from Nouripour.
“It is the working basis of this coalition that we don’t tell stuff about each other outside – I would like to stick to that,” he replies. After Lanz digs deeper, Nouripour then claims that his party was “highly skeptical” about the tax breaks, which are often not yet popular with citizens. “What did Lindner want?” asked the host. “He wanted a tank discount,” says Nouripour.
Journalist Eva Quadbeck is sobered by the friction. “In the end, the traffic light did what the FDP and Greens in particular have always criticized in the grand coalition, namely: everyone gets their little cracker to present something to their electorate.”
It was clear to Quadbeck who wanted something – but everyone lost. “For the Greens it was the nine-euro ticket and for the FDP the tank discount. From my point of view, both are really just table fireworks and not at all sustainable.”
The representatives of the FDP and the Greens also do not seem to agree on the subject of excess profit tax. “There are free riders who are trying to make the most of the current situation,” says Nouripour in view of the high fuel prices. That’s why the Greens want an excess profit tax. “The FDP doesn’t want that.”
Prices should not “explode at random”. According to the co-party leader, an excess profit tax should not generally be limited to mineral oil companies and should also apply if, for example, the armaments group Rheinmetall suddenly demands three times the market price for self-propelled howitzers.
During the course of the evening, Altmaier also brought up the topic of potential war profiteers. You have to find these. “Companies are there to make money. But they are not there to capitalize on the need and misery of others, which is disproportionate. And that’s why it has to be clarified. ”He saw the Federal Cartel Office asked here first.
“We need clear facts: Where are the citizens being fleeced? Market economy is not a free pass to stuff your pockets because the state is unable to use effective tools to prevent that.”
The moderator had a few questions about energy policy: Why does Germany have so few wind turbines? Why are we so dependent on Russian gas? And why don’t we have LPG terminals? Altmaier knows how to help himself. He is an advocate of liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports. However, they were not met with much interest. The reason: gas from Russia was so cheap at the time.
“We never prevented Nord Stream 2. But we never actively campaigned for the completion of the pipeline.” According to Altmaier, that was the position of the federal government at the time. Nouripour shakes his head. “I can’t keep up anymore.” He heard a speech by Altmaier in Moscow, where he described Nord Stream 2 as a private-sector project. “Which was always wrong. And with that, of course, you gave safe conduct for this pipeline to be built.”
“You’re turning the word in my mouth,” Altmaier replies, visibly annoyed. The federal government was always aware that Russia would not turn off the gas supply to Germany for its own economic interests. “What we hadn’t considered, and that was perhaps a mistake from today’s perspective, was that we might turn off the gas tap.”
Shortly thereafter, Lanz asked: “So you have nothing to blame yourself for?” Altmaier apparently surprised: “Mr. Lanz, did you listen to me?”
Jana Puglierin was specific in relation to the Ukraine-Russia war: “It is important that we prepare ourselves for the fact that this war will not be over quickly, that we have to adjust to new paths.” Politicians should be clear about this communicate so that support for Ukraine does not diminish.
The political scientist believes a situation that could split the West is plausible: Russian President Vladimir Putin will declare a unilateral ceasefire as soon as the conquered areas are sufficient to be considered military gains. Putin could use this ceasefire to re-equip his exhausted troops.
In this case there is a risk that some member states of the European Union will press Ukraine to negotiate with Putin. “It also depends on the member states of the European Union how much we disagree and how much we believe that Ukraine can reconquer areas.”