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Bundestag lit up at night. Photo credit: Christian Lue
Berlin

Green MP complains about ‘cold Bundestag’

Anyone who dares to complain about gas prices, which have increased at least six fold in the last year, is denounced as a traitor in Germany. In reality, many families do not know how they will stay warm since they are no longer able to afford heating.

Published: November 24, 2022, 6:10 am

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    The Bundestag, on the other hand, is heated at the expense of taxpayers. Despite this luxury, the prominent Green Party politician Renate Künast has been complaining publicly that she feels uncomfortable and cold.

    On Twitter, the 66-year-old lamented that she now “sits dressed in a coat and with a third cup of hot water – also to warm her hands – in the office”. She doubted that the heat setting was actually “19 degrees”. All public buildings are currently heated to this temperature to save energy. “Next week I’ll come with a blanket, hot-water bottle and hat,” she added.

    Many households

    No sympathy for Künast

    The Green politician, who collects a monthly allowance of €10 323.29 and has been a member of the Bundestag for 20 years, expected sympathy from her followers, but instead received scorn and ridicule. One headmistress replied: “I’m laughing quietly and can barely resist feeling scorn… We are doing this for the third winter at the schools. And who cares? Not politicians.”

    Another commented: “Next week wear an FFP2 mask all day long, then you’ll know yourself what you have done to students for many months.” Another wrote to the former Federal Minister: “Dear Mrs Künast, at home at the moment I’m still only heating the bathroom. Because I’m scared of the cost. Unfortunately, I have no sympathy for you at the moment.”

    And a former mathematics professor commented: “Well, you may be cold because you are following the reasoning of your own greenness. But complain about it here? This is almost an anti-election campaign. Yellow card!”

    Greens are sticking to their policies

    Energy saving measures have already been taken in several German cities due to the impending gas shortage. The federal government recently urged companies, municipalities and citizens to do so.

    In the Lower Saxony state capital of Hanover, according to information from the RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland (RND), only cold showers can be taken in swimming pools and sports halls. The new town hall, museums and other sights are no longer illuminated at night and public fountains have been turned off. Furthermore, factory closures between Christmas and New Year and the throttling of heating in public buildings are planned.

    The federal capital Berlin turned down the water temperatures at the beginning of this year’s outdoor pool season. One degree in indoor pools and two degrees in outdoor pools. The baths in the cities of Fulda, Dresden and Regensburg are also following this path.

    Numerous other measures are planned for citizens

    The largest housing provider in Germany, Vonovia, announced at the beginning of July that it would raise the temperatures in its Hamburg apartments to a maximum of 17 degrees at night. The Hamburg housing association SAGA is planning similar measures. In their 137 000 apartments, the heating temperature should soon only be a maximum of 22 degrees.

    In Munich, meanwhile, people are considering doing without street lighting, reported the radio station Antenne Bayern. There is already no hot water in municipal offices and two old, decommissioned oil burners have been reactivated to be on the safe side. Meanwhile, Regensburg announced that traffic lights would be deactivated at night.

    The city of Gotha in Thuringia will soon be switching off the heating in youth clubs, city administration buildings and the city library. In the state capital Erfurt, a waiver of hot water in sports facilities was announced in autumn.

    Bundestag saves no energy

    Künast may have been lying about being cold at her place of work. Despite all appeals to the citizens, the Bundestag has been brightly lit during the day for several weeks and is always heated or cooled to 22 degrees, all year round. In addition, the parliament shines in bright colors every evening. Bundestag President Bärbel Bas (SPD) even recently organized a light show with music from 30 loudspeakers. This cost 12 500 euros a day, the Bild newspaper reported, prompting the President of the Taxpayers’ Association, Rainer Holznagel to remark: “Preaching water and drinking wine.”

    While the government constantly calls on citizens to save, they continue to inflate ministries and federal agencies. According to the draft budget of the traffic light coalition, more than 7 000 well-paid new jobs have been added.

    It is now clear: If the Bundestag adopts the 2023 budget next week, a total of 4 769 additional jobs will have been created. In the middle of the crisis, the traffic light is expanding the state apparatus. In total, the SPD, Greens and FDP have added 1 742 new posts in ministries and federal agencies since the government began.

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