Habeck freaks out in the Bundestag dispute over the gas levy: "Are we here in the football stadium?"

Economics Minister Robert Habeck has had enough of what he calls “clumsy demands” from the Union faction. Image: IMAGO / Future Image

Jannik Sauer

The planned gas levy is becoming more and more of a pitfall for Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck. His plan to allow gas importers to pass on the additional costs incurred as a result of the failed Russian gas deliveries to the utility companies and thus to the consumers from October has met with resistance not only from the opposition, but also raises legal doubts.

Despite all these question marks, the Greens politician emphasized on Wednesday morning that he would stick to the gas levy. Previously he had the nationalization of Germany’s largest gas importer Uniper announced, which would also benefit from the planned allocation.

Union describes gas levy as a failure

When there was a debate on energy policy in the Bundestag on Wednesday evening, Habeck didn’t want to miss it and rushed into the plenary hall at short notice. But what he found there was not at all to the minister’s taste.

Union parliamentary group leader Andreas Jung (CDU) loudly criticized the planned gas levy and called for it to be abandoned. “The gas levy is the big elephant in the traffic light area. You know it hit a wall, but nobody is openly saying it today,” said Jung. It was his parliamentary group that called the afternoon meeting at short notice. In addition to the Union also demanded AfD and Linke to stop the gas apportionment.

“They are the ‘must-go opposition’! That’s not politics!”

Robert Habeck in the direction of the Union faction

When Habeck then stepped up to the lectern, it didn’t take long for his collar to burst. The opposition could only say “The gas surcharge has to go!” and not making any constructive proposals to deal with the energy crisis, he said, clearly upset.

“Are we here in the football stadium, or what? Is that a demo? Must go! You are the ‘must go’ opposition! That’s not politics!”, Habeck talked himself into a rage. He didn’t hear any good suggestions from the ranks of the Union, only “clumsy demands”.

Jung criticizes the lack of transparency and exceptions for companies

Jung had accused the economics minister of making a “state secret” out of the levy. “Nobody” knows how this surcharge is calculated. If Habeck plans to exclude those companies from the gas levy that make profits, then the amount of the levy must also change, the CDU politician demanded.

Habecks countered that the proportion of these “free riders” was around eight percent. Although that is “not nothing”, it does not mean that the price projection “must be corrected immediately”. The levy is “adjusted quarterly” with a view to prices. That could also happen in January.

(with material from dpa)

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