Düsseldorf (dpa/lnw) - Because of the consequential costs of the energy price crisis, North Rhine-Westphalia's Finance Minister Marcus Optendrenk fears cutbacks in the implementation of the coalition agreement. The addendum for the current financial year will only allow mandatory expenses to be shown, said the CDU politician on Monday in Düsseldorf. In view of the co-financing of the third relief package planned by the federal government and the expected subdued economy, "the room for maneuver to implement new things that we considered important is very small to zero".
After some strong criticism from the federal states, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and the 16 prime ministers are to hold a summit on September 28 on the cost of the relief package. At the request of the German Press Agency, the spokesman for the federal government, Steffen Hebestreit, confirmed the date of the special prime ministers' conference. Some country heads of government had complained that they were supposed to cover part of the cost of the package but had not been asked beforehand.
Just over a week ago, the traffic light coalition presented a third package of measures to compensate for the rapidly rising prices, the government estimates at around 65 billion euros. Criticism came from the Union-led states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Bavaria, as well as from Baden-Württemberg's green prime minister, Winfried Kretschmann.