Robert Habeck in “Early Start”
“Personally it’s going great” with Christian Lindner
7/10/2023 9:43 am
For months, the Green Minister of Economic Affairs has had to justify his heating law, and there has been a lot of trouble with the FDP in particular. All just a “systemically” justified tension, says Robert Habeck.
Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck described his personal relationship with Finance Minister Christian Lindner as good. The tension arises only from their different roles, said the Green politician in the “early start” of ntv. “He’s the finance minister, he has to keep the money together. I’m the economics minister and I would like to give initiatives for the economy so that we can grow and transform again. Companies want to produce green, they need loan safeguards or grants, all of that are financially relevant points. In this respect, we have a certain tension systemically, so to speak, but personally it’s going great.”
The conflicts in the traffic light coalition are often fought between the FDP and the Greens, for months about the heating law, and most recently the dispute over parental allowance.
Habeck defended the coalition’s original plan to pass the heating law before the summer break. The law should apply from January 1, 2024, “that means companies, manufacturers, craftsmen, the citizens have to be able to adapt to that too”. There is a lot to be said for not waiting until the end of December to pass such a law. “It was long enough in the German Bundestag, it should soon apply, so there was a lot to be said for getting it done now.”
“The heating law will come like this”
The Federal Constitutional Court stopped the proceedings. He has respect for this decision, said Habeck. The opposition will now get more consultation time as requested, but the law will then be passed after the summer break. “Nevertheless, it is united, everyone knows what is coming. The law will come like this now.” The announcements by the opposition that the law would be cleared again if the government took responsibility for itself were “normal rattling”. “What else are you supposed to say when you’re in the opposition?”
However, he can understand the discussions surrounding the law, since climate protection becomes concrete with it. It affects personal circumstances and sensitivities, so he can understand that there is a debate about it.
“Fun is not the criterion”
When asked if he still enjoys his job given the widespread criticism, he replied: “It’s fun, how [Baden-Württembergs Ministerpräsident] Winfried Kretschmann once said, not the criterion at all, but it makes sense.” The heating law is an important law that will shape German energy and climate policy for decades. The purpose of politics is to make the unpleasant decisions. He is very grateful that he is allowed to do this job.
Habeck called the reduction in parental allowance for couples with a taxable income of over 150,000 euros planned by his party colleague, Federal Family Minister Lisa Paus, acceptable. “The Minister of Finance has imposed savings requirements on the Minister for Family Affairs in the area of parental allowance and I find it acceptable that people who earn more than 150,000 euros in taxable income then waive the parental allowance,” he said. In terms of family policy, this may make a difference for some, “but there is enough money and they can divide their working hours differently,” says Habeck. That’s why it’s an unusual but acceptable decision.