"Our aim is to achieve a CO2-neutral economy"

Federal Chancellor with Maybrit Illner "Our aim is to achieve a CO2-neutral economy"

Last Thursday Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz appeared on ZDF’s “Maybrit Illner” show to answer questions from the public regarding financial relief for ordinary citizens and businesses, support for Ukraine, the energy supply and climate protection.

Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz in the TV studio for the show "Maybrit Illner".

Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz on “Maybrit Illner”.

Photo: Federal Government/Bergmann

The Federal Chancellor discussing

… financial relief for ordinary citizens

"Because of the many price hikes for food and energy right now", said Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz early on in the Maybrit Illner show, “many people are unsure about whether their savings will be sufficient to see them through, which is why we have resolved to provide as much help as we can with the resources available to us. Therefore,” he went on, “we were quick to launch two emergency packages – totalling some 30 billion euros – which are intended to help people through this year. Among other things, he continued, these include a monthly child supplement of 20 euros for low-income families, a one-time child bonus of 100 euros per child, an energy allowance of 300 euros, the nine-euro ticket and an energy tax cut on fuel.

“In addition to all the measures we have already put in place," the Federal Chancellor stressed, “we definitely want to ensure that we’re properly prepared for the future, which is why I have initiated a Concerted Action. This was done before in the 1970s, when we were faced with similar problems, and it enabled the trade unions, employers' associations and the state to agree upon the best course of action. From this, new steps and new measures will be derived."

... support for small and medium-sized enterprises

“It won’t be possible for us to lower all prices through subsidies," said Scholz, “I think we have to be honest about that. No state in the world could do that and neither can we, even though we have considerably more financial resources at our disposal than many others”, he continued, “but we're determined to take a very close look at what could be done to provide support for businesses as well. That's why the first thing we've done is to reactivate all possible programmes associated with KfW funding schemes and others, and we're also in the process of launching additional ones.”

 “We're determined not to abandon anyone – that goes for all German citizens – and for German bakeries, too,” Scholz told the Stiebling family, who run a bakery in Thuringia.

… support for Ukraine

“We will continue to stand in solidarity with Ukraine – at least that is my wish – for as long as is takes to ensure that Ukraine can defend itself against the terrible and brutal Russian attack on its territory,” the Federal Chancellor affirmed. “We cannot accept that a country invades its neighbour and says 'I'm stealing a piece of this territory; it's mine now',” said Scholz. “We will continue to provide financial and humanitarian aid, and also what we have set in motion in terms of weapons supplies”. This, he continued, would also include the sanctions “on which we have agreed with an incredible number of other countries”. We must ensure, said Scholz, “that the democracy and rule of law that a country is struggling to achieve cannot simply be undermined by violence.”

... climate protection

"Germany wants to be one of the first and perhaps the first industrialised country, the fourth largest economy in the world, to achieve a CO2-neutral economy as early as 2045. And that’s what we will do", the Federal Chancellor affirmed. Germany currently produces 600 terawatt-hours of electrical power. "Our goal is to achieve 800 terawatt-hours by the end of this decade and double that by the end of the next decade”, said Scholz, because in future, we want industrial processes that currently run on gas, coal, and oil, to run on electricity and hydrogen generated from renewable sources. And all the necessary legislation is currently being prepared for this”.

The entire interview is available in the ZDF Mediathek (media library).