German ‘Die Linke’ Party calls for protests amid Germany’s exploding energy prices

German ‘Die Linke’ Party calls for protests amid Germany's exploding energy prices. Image: Die Linke/Official

THE German ‘Die Linke’ Party has called for people to take to the streets amid Germany’s rising energy prices.

The German ‘Die Linke’ Party, whose co-leader Susanne Hennig-Wellsow resigned back in April citing sexism in the party’s ranks, said they will take it to the streets amid exploding prices for electricity and gas.

“Protests are already forming against the impoverishment programme and the government’s inaction,” the party said on Friday, September 2.

“We support these protests and organise them many times. We will not tolerate right-wingers and Nazis at these protests and reject the attempt to delegitimise protests against the impoverishment programme as extremist or right-wing extremists.

“We will call for social protests against the federal government together with the DIE LINKE party and alliance partners throughout the republic. The SPD, the Greens and the FDP should dress warmly!”

The party said that “Germany is facing the greatest social upheavals in decades.”

It added: “The prices for electricity and gas are exploding, the federal government is just watching and leaves the people who urgently need support out in the cold.

“Through measures such as the gas levy, the traffic light coalition is even actively participating in the impoverishment of the population. At the same time, energy companies are making huge profits on the backs of consumers.

The traffic light coalition is not prepared to introduce an excess profits tax for energy companies in order to set limits to this profiteering, as has long been done in some European countries.

“It can be assumed that the announced relief package falls far short of what is actually needed and will not be enough for most people to make ends meet.”

“We clearly say no to this policy and will take the social protest to parliament and to the streets! This is the right way to offer the growing discontent a voice from the left. Together we have a great chance to be visible with a clear social profile and to take an important role in the social disputes,” it added.

The German ‘Die Linke’ (The Left) Party then listed their demands:

  1. High direct payments that actually arrive! – All households with low and medium incomes receive 125 euros per month for one year plus 50 euros for each additional household member.
  2. Introduce a gas price cap! – We demand an immediate gas price cap for private households. In many large EU countries, for example, gas prices are already capped. Germany must follow suit. For example: A cap on the basic gas quota of approx. 8000 kWh per year and household and 4000 kWh for each additional person who heats with gas. There must also be a corresponding cap for other types of heating.
  3. Abolish the gas levy! – With his expensive levy, Habeck is arbitrarily picking the pockets of gas customers and exacerbating social injustice. This is pure rip-off. Corrections to the gas levy are not enough, it must go!
  4. Ban electricity and gas blackouts! – No one should have to sit in the dark and cold! It must be forbidden for corporations to cut off electricity and gas to customers who are in financial difficulties.
  5. Introduce an excess profits tax! – Many energy companies are swimming in the money they have ripped off consumers. The traffic light government must finally step in, as other European states are doing.
  6. Reduce VAT on food to 0 per cent! – The VAT on basic foodstuffs must be set at zero and it must be ensured that the reduction reaches consumers.
  7. Increase the Hartz IV rate! – The Hartz IV rate must be increased immediately to 687 euros.
  8. Extend the nine-euro ticket! – bus and train must be affordable! – The nine-euro ticket has been a success. The positive effect is both social and climate-friendly. Now, to radically raise the prices again will cause many citizens to incur two- to three-digit additional monthly costs. This is irresponsible; what is needed instead is a continuation of the nine-euro ticket until the end of the year. As a follow-up regulation, public transport throughout Germany should not cost more than one euro a day. At the same time, we demand a massive and rapid expansion of public transport and rail.
  9. Abolish the merit order! – Introduce state price controls! – We advocate a rapid expansion of renewable energy – independence from fossil and nuclear power must continue to be promoted. This can already be financed if climate-damaging subsidies are abolished. In addition, in order for prices to fall, the merit order principle must be ended, which currently leads to prices being de facto set by the price of gas – energy prices must be regulated by the state.
  10. Take to the streets together! – Protests are already forming against the impoverishment programme and the government’s inaction. We support these protests and organise them many times. We will not tolerate right-wingers and Nazis at these protests and reject the attempt to delegitimise protests against the impoverishment programme as extremist or right-wing extremist. We will call for social protests against the federal government together with the DIE LINKE party and alliance partners throughout the republic. The SPD, the Greens and the FDP should dress warmly!

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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

Comments


    • NewsView

      09 September 2022 • 02:47

      There isn’t enough people in China to manufacture wind turbines and solar panels to make up the energy shortfall Germany and others are faced with. In 2018 Trump gave a speech before the UN in which he chastized the EU for being overly dependent on Russia for energy. The camera panned around and NATO members were sitting there snickering like bratty schoolkids.

      Look: Climate change is real. But we’re so far behind the 8-ball that anything we do will be so rushed that it will only benefit existing “green energy” suppliers in China. The same China that is doing energy deals with Russia such that the Ruble is gaining in value even as other currencies become valueless in the face of inflation.

      This part of history isn’t well understood but it should be: One of the factors in bringing down the USSR and ending the Cold War was the cheap price of oil/gas. Russia has been called the “gas station of the world”. When we fight climate change by dramatically cutting production/exports in the U.S. and elsewhere, the global price of oil goes up. Indeed, inflation and oil prices were on the rise BEFORE Putin invaded Ukraine. We are essentially handing Russia and its geopolitical partner, China, the keys to the future by waging the climate change war in an unintelligent manner. It took decades to transition from oil to natural gas refineries in the United States and it will take decades to build up alternative energy sources to the degree necessary to reduce fossil fuel dependence. In the meantime, crimped supplies of oil/energy — with or without the war in Ukraine to egg it on — will mean rising inflation and with that inflation the potential for an economic crisis across much of the West. That financial crisis will paradoxically DIMINISH investment/capital for renewable energy infrastructure — the very infrastructure we need to build up to make the long-term goal of combating climate change and Russian-energy dependency in Europe feasible.

      Something has to give: Efforts to punish Russia through sanctions have largely failed due to China and India continuing to “make Russia rich again” — which in turn is fueling Putin’s war machine in Ukraine. We have a choice: Stick to the Paris Agreement goals or step up energy production and exports in Canada, the United States and elsewhere to WARTIME levels. This will reduce inflation, avert an energy crisis in Europe and, with any luck, crash the Russian economy much as occurred prior to the dissolution of the USSR.

      Our leaders in Europe, the U.S. and elsewhere seem to have painfully short memories. In the name of climate change we’re forgetting how to win wars. Not only will Ukraine lose in the face of a wealthier Russia — so will the entire Western world. Our leaders are inexplicably setting the stage for a global new world order in which Russia and China are the dominant forces.

      It is more than ironic that we are oblivious to the error of our ways. Yes, it may seem that increasing U.S. and Canadian oil and gas production is counterproductive to the goal of transitioning to renewable sources — but we can’t push back Putin’s power grab in Eastern Europe if we continue to prioritize climate over geopolitical reality. In the long run, a more prosperous West is better positioned to make alternative energy investments in the future. But alas, we are captive to SHORT TERM thinking at the expense of long-term progress. How much sway will impoverished Western countries have if we continue to make energy so scarce — and therefore costly — that the only parties left standing are those who have the least regard for fighting the climate fight: Russia, China and India?

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