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Displeasure for the traffic light: CDU representative criticizes after incentive termination for electric cars: “Nothing is clear in the budget”

The Minister of Economy abruptly implements the agreement of the coalition leaders. The motor vehicle association speaks of a breach of trust.

Despite the agreement of the coalition leaders in the budget crisis, there is still simmering conflict within the traffic light coalition. On Sunday, clear differences between the SPD and Greens regarding the purchase incentive for electric cars became evident.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), Minister of Economy Robert Habeck (Greens), and Minister of Finance Christian Lindner (FDP) had agreed last Wednesday to phase out this years-long incentive. Initially, it was announced that it would happen at the end of the year.

However, Habeck decided last minute that the incentive would already cease to be effective from December 18: Those who have not submitted applications to the competent federal office by Sunday will no longer be eligible.

“Extremely unfortunate”

The SPD considers this too short notice. On Sunday, they demanded the withdrawal of the decision. The three deputy faction leaders Verena Hubertz, Matthias Miersch and Detlef Müller criticized the announcement of the incentive termination, which was only made on Saturday, as “extremely unfortunate.”

Habeck should organize a more reliable transition. “Citizens expect practical transition periods from political decision-makers.” The three SPD politicians told the German Press Agency that many people have to calculate very precisely when purchasing a new car and have budgeted for the incentive.

The Central Association of German Motor Vehicle Trade (ZDK) described Habeck’s decision as a “tremendous breach of trust” affecting tens of thousands of customers who had already ordered electric vehicles. The incentive has only applied to private individuals since the autumn.

“Shared compromise”

In contrast, the deputy Green faction leader Julia Verlinden pointed out that the decision to phase out the purchase incentive was made jointly with Scholz and Lindner. “We Greens had proposed different measures to create leeways in the budget in other ways. However, there was no majority for this in the coalition,” Verlinden told the “Tagesspiegel.”

“But now there is a jointly found compromise among all three traffic light partners – and it is good that there is now clarity regarding the budget. This includes the termination of the electric car incentive. This is also understood by the members of all traffic light factions.”

“Actually, nothing is united and clear for the 2024 budget”

There is also disagreement within the coalition regarding cuts in the subsidy for diesel fuel and vehicle tax in agriculture. Therefore, there will be a major demonstration of the Farmers’ Association in Berlin on Monday. Minister of Agriculture Cem Özdemir (Greens) expressed dissatisfaction with the decision. Lindner indicated on Sunday that he is open to alternatives.

Union faction vice-chair Mathias Middelberg told the “Tagesspiegel”: “The rekindled disputes within the traffic light about the alleged agreement in the budget dispute show that nothing is actually united and clear for the 2024 budget.”

The uncertainty that now jeopardizes the stability of the German economy does not result from the Constitutional Court’s ruling on the debt brake, “but solely from the incapacity of the traffic light government.”

By Albert Funk

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