Olaf Scholz at an event with citizens in Neuruppin in August: letter from the base
Photo: IMAGO/Janine Schmitz/photothek.de / IMAGO/photothek
The 16 signatories come from different guilds and also refer to discussions with their customers: The Halle-Saalekreis district trade association in Saxony-Anhalt has asked Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) to stop all sanctions against Russia.
In an open letter, quoted by the editorial network Germany, the craftsmen also call for negotiations to end the war against Ukraine.
»We as craftsmen know from many conversations with our customers that the vast majority is not willing to sacrifice their hard-earned standard of living for Ukraine.
It's not our war either!«, the letter reads.
Addressing Scholz even more directly, the undersigned write: “Do you want to be the chancellor who ruined Germany?
Do you really want to sacrifice your country?”
The district trade association criticized Russia's attack on Ukraine as a serious crime and "a clear violation of Article 2 of the UN Charter".
However, one is "worried about the future of our children and grandchildren, worried about the continued existence of our companies, worried about our country".
In addition, one cannot speak of a flawless democratic state in Ukraine, it is said.
The craftsmen refer to a publication by Transparency International, in which the country took 122nd place in corruption in 2021 - no other European country did worse.
"And you want to put Germany at risk for that?" criticize the 16 signatories from all guilds.
If prices continue to rise, the "average earner" will soon no longer be able to pay for his living, write the craftsmen.
Then even normal, necessary manual work would become unaffordable, which in turn would lead to layoffs and the closure of companies.
At the beginning of the Ukraine war, Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck also emphasized the solidarity of the economy with a view to sanctions.
The federal government is now taking various countermeasures to cushion the economic upheavals caused by the war.
Chancellor Scholz announced a very controversial reduction in VAT on natural gas.
Kubicki calls for opening of Nord Stream 2
But the governing FDP party also has doubts about the course of the traffic light coalition.
FDP Vice President Wolfgang Kubicki has spoken out with a delicate proposal.
He spoke out in favor of opening the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline to improve the gas supply.
"We should open Nord Stream 2 as soon as possible to fill our gas storage for the winter," Kubicki told the editorial network Germany.
There is “no good reason not to open Nord Stream 2”.
If Russia's President Vladimir Putin then stops supplying gas, Germany has lost nothing.
"If more gas reaches us this way, perhaps even the entire contractually guaranteed amount, that will help people not have to freeze in winter and our industry will not suffer serious damage," argued Kubicki.
Ensuring this is the top priority of the federal government.
Precisely for this reason, other pipelines from Russia were not cut.
"Once the gas storage tanks are full, we can close Nord Stream 2 again - and the other pipelines too, once we have become independent.
But we're not that yet,” said Kubicki.
When the interviewer pointed out that Putin would exploit this as a great success, the Bundestag Vice President said that everything that ensures that more gas gets here is of more use to Germany than to Putin.
“By the way, Putin's greatest propaganda success would be if we ran out of gas while he was still making good money from us.
This must be prevented."
The federal government has put the commissioning of the finished Nord Stream 2 pipeline on hold.
Russia currently only supplies around 20 percent of the possible quantity via Nord Stream 1.
The Russian gas company Gazprom blames technical reasons for this, the federal government considers this to be a pretense.
Kubicki also advocated exploring the possibilities of fracking in Germany in order to become less dependent on natural gas supplies.
"Fracking can make a significant contribution to security of supply in Germany for decades," said the FDP politician.
Fracking uses pressure and chemicals to extract gas or oil from rock layers.
Critics see environmental dangers here.
The method is banned in Germany, only test drilling is permitted.