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Merkel's nuclear stance ruffles conservative feathers

The Local · 5 Jun 2011, 10:50

Published: 05 Jun 2011 10:50 GMT+02:00

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Magazine Focus quoted representatives from both the conservative Christian Democrats and their federal coalition partner, the pro-business Free Democrats, who are unhappy with the chancellor's plans to see Germany abandon nuclear energy earlier than originally planned.

"The rapid nuclear-phase-out is one of the most disastrous mistakes made in German politics since 1949," Arnold Vaatz, deputy head of the Christian Democratic Union parliamentary party, told the publication.

In a worst-case scenario, the government's decision to turn its back on nuclear power could lead to "lasting power shortfalls and costly, bad investments."

The disaster at Japan's Fukushima plant, which experienced meltdowns at three reactors following the March earthquake and tsunami in the country, prompted German politicians to reevaluate their own nuclear policy.

The leaders of Germany's governing coalition recently endorsed plans for a gradual phase-out of nuclear plants over the next decade. The country's seven oldest nuclear plants, as well as the Krümmel reactor, will remain offline, while other facilities will be powered down in 2015, 2017 and 2019.

German Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen said three others would be turned off in 2021, with the newest plant to follow one year later.

Criticism for the plans also came from the FDP's federal deputy chairman, Holger Zastrow, who likened the phase-out to "an instance of planned economy."

In a guest commentary for German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the CDU's floor leader in the Hessian state parliament, Christean Wagner, wrote that CDU supporters have lost basic trust in the party, describing the situation facing the CDU as "even more alarming than (it was) after the poor parliamentary election results."

Story continues below…

Der Spiegel reported that Wagner has written an 11-page paper bemoaning the party's problems. The paper is now circulating among members of the CDU.

DAPD/The Local/arp

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:00 June 5, 2011 by Gabriel Grubb
What Madness! What about the German states huge reliance on Coal? This is never mentioned and kept quiet by the Greens! Germany current produces 830 MILLION tonnes of CO2 per year mostly from Coal.Germany relies hugely on Coal and this will increase rapidly after the Nuclear power stations are switched out! So much for green policy eh? Reference and very interesting recent article on the Daily Mail website davehanlonblog.dailymail.co.uk . Scroll down page! An eye opener!
17:48 June 5, 2011 by neunElf
Where have these critics been hiding?

It is so convenient to take a public stance AFTER the decision has been made!

Can you say opportunism?

The critics are right in their assessment, but wrong in their timing.
23:12 June 5, 2011 by Gabriel Grubb
Re above comment #1 .It should be MICHEAL Hanlon blog. hanlanblog.dailymail.co.uk scroll down to headline " Germany uses witchcraft to determine energy policy"!
01:48 June 6, 2011 by Ace Hoffman
Interesting misuse of the phrase "a worst-case scenario" since it is NOT referring to a meltdown in Germany of one of their reactors, or a spent fuel tragedy, or the tragedy of continued ongoing releases from operational, leaky reactors. Interesting idea in the comments that Germany's use of coal justifies its use of nuclear power, as well as the claim that the greens have ignored the dangers of coal. Granted I'm from the U.S.A. (also heavily reliant on coal and nuclear for electricity) and might have missed something that wasn't going on in Germany, but I just don't know of any greens anywhere that endorse coal. And for a link to learn more about nuclear's dangers, please go to my web site: www.acehoffman.org and download my free books and watch my videos. Germany's making a smart decision and I hope America will follow.
19:38 June 7, 2011 by bigbiz
I hope this will mean Germany will go back to nature and burn coal.Just like in the olden days ..nice. Here in the US we have plenty of Coal to sell to the Germans and create 10's of thousands of US jobs.
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