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Gloomy political future for Merkel’s govt on its pro nuclear decision

The opposition and some of the states are now considering appealing to the country’s constitutional court to overturn the bill, arguing that it should have been brought before the Bundesrat. And around 50 municipally-controlled energy suppliers also intend to campaign against the new law. They are concerned that the refocus on nuclear energy could endanger investment in renewable energy programs…..

The World from Berlin: Extension of Nuclear Lifespans Is ‘Pure Conservatism’ – SPIEGEL ONLINE – 29 Oct 10,  “…..lGermany may be facing into a winter of discontent following the dismantling of a plan to phase out nuclear energy in just over a decade. On Thursday the center-right majority in Germany’s parliament, the Bundestag, voted in favor of extending the lifespan of the country’s 17 nuclear power plants, overturning a decision made 10 years ago by the then ruling Social Democrat-Green Party coalition to wean the country off atomic energy by around 2022.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats and their coalition partners, the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP), voted to allow the plants to remain online for an average of another 12 years, meaning the last plant will only close in 2035.

The decision has infuriated the Social Democrats (SPD) and Greens, not only for overturning a key part of their legacy but also because of the government’s attempt to bypass the Bundesrat, the country’s second legislative chamber representing the 16 German states, where the government does not enjoy a majority.

Sigmar Gabriel, SPD leader and former environment minister, lashed out at the decision, accusing the government of creating advantages for the big four energy companies — Eon, RWE, EnBW and Vattenvall. The Greens and the SPD warn that by continuing to rely on nuclear energy the development of renewable sources will be neglected.

On Thursday, the Greens signalled their protest at the new bill by arriving dressed in black and wearing small yellow crosses pinned to their lapels. As a fierce debate raged within the parliament, around 2,000 protestors formed a human chain around the Reichstag parliament building in central Berlin. And Greenpeace activists managed to scale the roof of the CDU party headquarters and unfurl a banner accusing the party of making policies for nuclear companies.

The opposition and some of the states are now considering appealing to the country’s constitutional court to overturn the bill, arguing that it should have been brought before the Bundesrat. And around 50 municipally-controlled energy suppliers also intend to campaign against the new law. They are concerned that the refocus on nuclear energy could endanger investment in renewable energy programs…..

The World from Berlin: Extension of Nuclear Lifespans Is ‘Pure Conservatism’ – SPIEGEL ONLINE – News – International

October 29, 2010 - Posted by | Germany, politics | , , , ,

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