• Germany's news in English

Government to sidestep Bundesrat on nuclear power plant extension

DPA/The Local · 16 May 2010, 13:26

Published: 16 May 2010 13:26 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

“Regarding the extension of run times, we’ll have a constitutional law that does not require [Bundesrat] consent,” Chancellery Chief of Staff Ronald Pofalla, a member of Merkel’s conservatives, told the WAZ newspaper group on Saturday.

The announcement comes after a devastating electoral defeat for her Christian Democrats and their junior coalition partners the pro-business Free Democrats last weekend in North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany’s most populous state. As a result, the parties in Merkel’s governing coalition have lost their majority in the Bundesrat, the parliamentary chamber where the German states are represented.

Pofalla said the SPD government under former chancellor Gerhard Schröder also excluded the Bundesrat from big decisions on nuclear power.

Green party parliamentary group leader Jürgen Trittin criticized Pofalla’s suggestion as “legal manoeuvring.”

“Instead of legal trickery, the government should finally realize: There’s neither a public nor a Bundesrat majority that supports more nuclear waste and the higher risks posed by old nuclear reactors,” he said Saturday in a party statement.

The atomic power debate has been reignited in recent months; the country’s biggest anti-nuclear demonstration in years took place on April 24. Some 120,000 people joined a 120-kilometre human chain between nuclear power stations Krümmel in Schleswig-Holstein and Brünsbuttel in Hamburg to protest the government’s policy on atomic power stations.

Pofalla’s statement puts Merkel’s chancellery at odds with Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen, who had been operating under the assumption that the Bundesrat decides the atomic power debate.

Story continues below…

A publication released in late April by the German parliament’s scientific service seemed to support that point: “The continued operation of atomic power for civilian purposes depends on the decision of the Bundesrat,” the paper read.

The German government plans to finalize its energy agenda through 2050 in October, which will involve examining how long individual reactors can remain online. Current law stipulates that plants must be shut down after they have provided 32 years of service, which would put the final closure of the country’s reactors at around 2022.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Obama to visit Berlin in last presidential trip to Germany
President Barack Obama and Chancellor Angela Merkel during a Berlin trip in 2013. Photo: DPA.

The White House announced on Tuesday that US President Barack Obama will be paying one last unexpected visit to the German capital - his last before he leaves office.

Hostility towards minorities 'widespread in Bavaria'
A village in southern Bavaria. Photo: DPA.

Hate and hostility towards groups deemed to be different are not just sentiments felt by fringe extremists, a new report on Bavaria shows.

Hated RB Leipzig emerge as shock challengers to Bayern
RB Leipzig. Photo: DPA

RB Leipzig's remarkable unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season has seen them suddenly emerge at the head of the pack chasing reigning champions and league leaders Bayern Munich.

Munich taxi driver in hospital after attack by British tourists
Photo: DPA

A taxi driver had to be hospitalized in Munich on Monday evening after three British tourists refused to pay their fare and then attacked him.

German police carry out nationwide anti-terror raids
Police outside a building in Jena during raids on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Police forces in five German states carried out raids on Tuesday morning with the aim of tackling the financing of terror groups, police in Thuringia have reported.

The Local List
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Photo: DPA

So you've mastered German, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

Iconic German church being eroded away by human urine
Ulm Minster towering over the rest Ulm surrounding the Danube. Photo: Pixabay

It will now cost you €100 to spend a penny. That’s if you get caught choosing to pee against the world-famous Ulm Minster.

German small arms ammo exports grow ten-fold
Photo: DPA

The government has come in for criticism after new figures revealed that Germany exported ten times the quantity of small arms ammunition in the first half of 2016 as in the same period last year.

14-year-old stabs 'creepy clown' in prank gone wrong
File photo: DPA.

A 16-year-old in Berlin decided he wanted to scare some friends, but his plot backfired in a violent way.

Four Ku Klux Klan groups active in Germany, says govt
An American member of the KKK at a gathering in Georgia. Photo: EPA.

The German government estimates that there are four Ku Klux Klan (KKK) groups currently active in the country, according to a report by the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) on Tuesday.

Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd