Coalition row over food-saving campaigns: Which side is Olaf Scholz on?

Various politicians from the Greens, SPD and FDP have taken a position on the three-week motorway blockades. The food rescuers immediately leave the streets as soon as there is a time-binding promise for a food-saving law. Now it is the government's turn to secure the future. Everyone is asking themselves: What does our Chancellor say?

Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke (The Greens)
Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke (The Greens). Photo: DPA

Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke (The Greens) says: “It is absolutely legitimate to demonstrate for your cause and to use forms of civil disobedience,” she told several newspapers. She understands the parallels to the peaceful revolution in the GDR in 1989 because of her own experiences. Lemke says that the Paris climate goals must now finally be met. Already at the weekend, Green Party leader Ricarda Lang expressed understandable climate despair. 

Justice Minister Marco Buschmann (FDP), on the other hand, claims: “Civil disobedience is neither a justification nor an excuse in German law.” – Does the Justice Minister not know the German constitution? In emergencies and unconstitutional policies, violations of the rules are permitted “if no remedy is possible”. If disobedience is not justified: Would Marco Buschmann have had Steffi Lemke imprisoned in 1989 if she had demonstrated disobediently?

SPD chairman Lars Klingbeil pointed out on BildTV the importance of peaceful protest on climate issues, as long as it remained “within limits”. Berlin's governing mayor Franziska Giffey (SPD) and Berlin's Interior Senator Iris Spranger (SPD) had previously commented on the protests and showed little understanding. The SPD's responsible person for nutrition, Ms. Mittag, refused to hand over an open letter and referred to a digital conversation offer.

The alleged climate chancellor Olaf Scholz remains silent about this. The last generation had already presented Olaf Scholz with the demands for a food-saving law and a comprehensive agricultural turnaround by 2030 in November. Nevertheless, he allows huge amounts of good food to be thrown away every day, while those in need stand in ever-longer queues at the food banks.

But we need more than just nice words from the government. We need action. We are in the middle of a climate emergency. We are already seeing harvest declines and yet food continues to be thrown away. The government must act now.

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