German energy policy ‘scandal’ as nuclear plants shut down

Olaf Scholz says Germany 'will manage better this winter'

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Germany’s energy policy has been slammed as a “major scandal”, with nuclear power plants being shut down despite record prices being forecasted down the pipeline. The war in Ukraine, Western sanctions on Moscow and the Kremlin’s response to these measures have sent shockwaves across the European energy market, which, critics warn, has been overly-reliant on Russian fuel for too long.

Moscow earlier this month said it would not resume in full its gas supplies to Europe until sanctions have been lifted.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov cited Germany and the UK as two of the countries which would need to remove sanctions for change to ensue.

Fears have risen further after Vladimir Putin this morning he was mobilising – with immediate effect – 300,000 reservists into the Ukraine war.

Uncertainty – or, rather, the certainty that there will be shortages, particularly this winter – has sent prices upwards, stoking an already present cost crisis.

Despite this, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has rejected calls to commit to a longer-term extension of the life of Germany’s nuclear power plants.

Headlines in recent German newspapers have highlighted the level of distress in the country about rising prices.

The cover of Bild, Germany’s biggest daily newspaper, today read: “Prices Explode! Inflation soon in double figures!”

Below this, in large lettering, the Editor asks: “When will it finally stop?”

French MEP François-Xavier Bellamy told Public Senat that the most obvious solution to this problem lies in “investment in nuclear power”.

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He criticised the Commission of the European Union for “undermining nuclear power for years”.

His primary criticism lay in the German leadership, the actions of which he described as a “major scandal”.

Mr Bellamy said: “We are heading for power cuts, prices are reaching record highs, and we are letting Germany… shut down power plants.”

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Belgium, he noted, was guilty of the same “scandal”.

Mr Scholz has insisted Germans will manage to “rise above themselves” this winter.

They will, he said, deal with the coming difficulty “with boldness and bravery”.

Opposition party AfD Co-Leader Alice Weidel responded that, given the Government’s failure, German’s will have “every right” to take to the streets.

She added: “You have every reason to fear a heated autumn and winter.”

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.

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