A loaf of bread for 8 euros

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By Kalte Sonne

Once again Hart Aber Fair (Hart But Fair )

and again the topic of energy, exactly was the title of the broadcast from 12.09.2022:

“Too expensive gas, too little electricity: Does nuclear power have to run longer?”

(Figure: Screenshot ARD-Mediathek)

The Green Minister of Economic Affairs Al-Wazir from Hesse was invited to Frank Plasberg’s broadcast and unfortunately he did not shine with specialist knowledge – on the contrary.

He joins the list of Green politicians who want to explain their business to the operators of nuclear power plants.

You don’t have to explain to a Green how a nuclear power plant works, in which nuclear fusion takes place <sic>, said the minister.

To be fair, Al Wazir corrected himself immediately afterwards, but by then the failure with nuclear fusion had already gone through the transmitter. And because the man understands so much about nuclear energy, he immediately added that the letter from PreussenElektra, the operator of the Isar 2 nuclear power plant, to Federal Minister of Economics Habeck was outrageous. The company had warned in a letter about the reserve operation planned by Habeck. The Tagesschau reported.

The power plants have to function as the Greens imagine. An interesting mixture of ignorance and arrogance, which came over that evening from the Green Minister from Hesse. The entrepreneur Künne, who runs a chain of bakeries in Hanover, was also a guest. Her energy costs are currently increasing tenfold and she would actually have to take 8 euros for a loaf of bread, which is impossible. It sees itself as a basic supplier and not as a luxury business.

For them, the round had no real solution, except perhaps the CDU politician Connemann, who brought a kind of price limit for a basic need into play. But that doesn’t really help a bakery, because it primarily affects private households. Al-Wazir then brought in liquidity support and grant programs. Such programs have the charm that they have long processing times and, of course, are not infinite. At Künne, the need would be 1 million euros a year.

What program offers this?

Al-Wazir had to admit that. He relies on regulation by the EU.

Can it solve the lack of electricity and the high prices?

What remains after such broadcasts as a conclusion?

A minister from Hesse who not only knows everything, but also knows everything better.

Who, however, then confuses nuclear fusion with nuclear fission and was otherwise rather unpleasant, because he liked to be hip to the other guests. Of course, he passed the buck on to the CDU politician Connemann. The previous government was to blame for everything. Unfortunately, the fact check of the show will probably not look at what electricity production in Germany currently looks like.

On 13.09.2022 at 08:00 it consisted of 18.8% wind power and 6.4% solar energy.

The difference was mainly made up for by coal (33.5%) and natural gas (14.4%).

More of the same, that’s the formula of Al-Wazir, would not have really brought anything here. After all, in the fact check there is a statement on the statements of Minister Al-Wazir.

He was wrong.

“The discussion revolved around the so-called Energy Cost Containment Program (EKDP) with a volume of five billion euros, which the Federal Government has launched for energy-intensive companies. Since mid-July, companies have been able to apply for this aid from the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control. With this programme, the Federal Government is subsidising a share of the additional costs of energy-intensive companies for electricity and gas. The subsidies are staggered from 30 percent of the additional costs or a maximum of 2 million euros to 70 percent of the additional costs or a maximum of 50 million euros. However, aid is subject to numerous conditions. Among other things, the costs for electricity and gas must have been more than twice as high as the average for 2021 – but only the cost increases between February and September 2022 are taken into account. The still expected price jumps in winter – especially for gas – are not taken into account.

The baker next door does not yet benefit

The basis for this grant is a list from the EU Commission. The baker next door is looking for on this list but so far in vain, which also criticizes our guest Catarina Künne. The energy cost containment program mainly includes companies with industrial production. However, Last week, Economics Minister Habeck announced to the German Bundestag that the energy cost containment programme would also be opened up to small and medium-sized enterprises. The extensions of this protective shield are being worked on at full speed, habeck said in the “Focus”.

One could therefore feel sorry for Mrs. Künne, the moderator Frank Plasberg tried to comfort her several times when he repeatedly emphasized that the discussed solutions are not suitable for her.

After all, Franz-Josef Tenhagen of Finanztip für Zuschauer had the advice to check the tariff of the basic supplier in the event of price increases, because it is often significantly cheaper than the tariffs of “dealers” who otherwise procured energy at short notice. This business model is collapsing.

A ray of hope was also the economist Stefan Kooths, who pointed out that an enormous loss of purchasing power is taking place due to the increases in energy prices. He makes an interesting point when he noted that the power problem will not be solved in April 2023. He pleaded for an increase in supply, including allowing nuclear power to continue for a few more years. Of course, there was a hail of criticism from Al-Wazir. The facilities in France are dilapidated and the source of all problems. It would almost be as if France were to shut down its TGV fleet because there are problems with the ICE in Germany. The reasoning would be similar.

The topic of the programme, namely nuclear power, was basically only raised in the last 15 minutes of the programme. This is certainly unfortunate, but it also shows that there are many facets of problems right now, but they all have an origin. The programme can still be seen in the ARD media library until 12.09.2023.

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EU bans all products from forced labour. According to Handelsblatt, all products from forced labour are to be removed from the internal market.

“The fact that forced labour continues to exist illustrates the need for additional measures directed against products,” says the Commission’s draft, which is available to Handelsblatt. This is not an EU directive, but a regulation. This does not have to be transposed into national law by the Member States, but applies directly.””

According to information from the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP), there are indications of forced labour in the matter of solar products from China.

“Researchers from the Helena Kennedy Center for International Justice at Sheffield Hallam University, together with the Coalition to End Forced Labor in the Uyghur Region, published a report last Friday. In it, they prove that polysilicon is used in almost the entire global solar industry, which was produced by forced labor in Xinjiang / East Turkestan. According to the report, four polysilicon producers are involved in Uyghur forced labour either through direct participation in forced labour programmes or through their procurement of raw materials. The four largest solar module suppliers in the world, JinkoSolar, JASolar, TrinaSolar and LONGi, all source raw materials from at least one of these polysilicon suppliers.

In an assessment of the situation in Xinjiang / East Turkestan published a few days ago, the scientific service of the Bundestag pointed out that German companies with branches in the region would have to check their entire supply chain in order to exclude forced labour. According to the report, cooperation with Chinese suppliers that use forced labour must have consequences: The contracting companies must investigate the allegations and exert pressure on the supplier companies to put an end to practices that violate human rights. If, for example, forced labour still cannot be ruled out as a result, an end to business relationships with supplier companies must be considered. In extreme cases, company employees could be prosecuted individually.”

It will be interesting to see whether these facts are smiled away.

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