In Brief: Berlin CDU and SPD leaders trade criticisms during House budget debate

Berlin CDU and SPD leaders traded criticisms during the House budget debate, with the party factions voicing varied visions for the city.

Photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels

 

 

Berlin’s House of Representatives spent most of Thursday locked in debate over how Berlin should spend the budget over the next two years.

In one exchange, CDU faction leader Burkard Dregger accused the governing mayor of contradictory policies, pointing out that he wants more electric vehicles on the streets, while the Mayor’s official vehicle has higher carbon emissions than the vehicles of other German mayors.

Mayor Michael Mueller, in turn, accused the opposition of slamming Berlin and neglecting to acknowledge the city’s successes, like positive job growth, and increased investments.

Berlin’s Red-Red-Green coalition plans to spend an approximate 63 billion euros over the next two years, without incurring any new debt.

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Germany’s Foreign Office has criticized Russia for expelling two German diplomats from the German Embassy in Moscow. The Foreign Office released a statement saying the move sends the “wrong signal” and is “unwarranted.”

Last week, Germany expelled two Russian diplomats in light of evidence pointing to involvement by Russia in the murder of a man in Berlin in late August.

Germany accuses Russia of not cooperating with the investigation. Prosecutors say there is evidence that Russian state authorities commissioned the murder of the Georgian asylum-seeker.

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Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas tweeted on Thursday “European energy policy is decided in Europe, not in the U.S.” in response to a U.S. bill that would impose sanctions on companies involved in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

In Brussels on Thursday, EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan said the European Union is against sanctions targeting EU companies that operate lawfully.

On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill that would sanction companies and individuals involved in construction of the pipeline, which are likely to include several European companies.

The gas pipeline through the Baltic Sea will supply gas directly from Russia to Germany.

 

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