German Greens approve to back extension of nuclear power plant operations

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Baerbock has defended the export of arms to countries like Saudi Arabia

The German Green party congress in Bonn on Saturday approved as an interim measure and after a heated debate to support the extension for the operation of the Neckarwestheim 2 and Isar 2 nuclear power plants in southern Germany.

However, they have approved that not a single more nuclear fuel rod will be manufactured in a key debate given the weight that the formation has as a social of the coalition government led by Social Democrat Olaf Scholz.

The Minister of Economy and leader of the Greens, Robert Habeck, has thus managed to stop a motion presented on Friday by the rank and file of the formation to veto the extension of the deadline for the closure of power plants in southern Germany and support its continuation as an emergency measure until April 15.

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“Are we going to support nuclear power? Of course not. There’s no way that’s going to happen. Not with me in the federal government. Not with the Greens in the federal government and not with Steffi Lemke and not with me,” Habeck said, referring to the environment minister.

Habeck acknowledged that the approved measures could be painful for the Greens, “but we will never be wrong about what the problem is and what the solution is: fossil fuels and nuclear energy are the problem,” he reiterated.

The third German nuclear power plant still in operation, the one in Emsland, near the Netherlands, will have to close at the end of this year as initially planned, as approved by the Greens.

The Free Democratic Party, Scholz’s third coalition partner, instead advocates keeping Emsland running even beyond the spring of 2023.

On the other hand, the German Foreign Minister, the environmentalist Annalena Baerbock, has defended before the Greens the export of arms to countries such as Saudi Arabia.

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“We do not deliver directly to Saudi Arabia, (where) human rights are trampled on,” she has stressed. However, he defended that “we need European arms cooperation”.

The German government has recently approved the delivery of equipment and ammunition to Saudi Arabia worth 36 million euros within a program involving Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Baerbock has instead stressed that no social budget will be cut in favor of defense and promised a more restrictive armaments policy in the future.

Angela Merkel’s previous government had largely stopped arms exports to Saudi Arabia, mainly because of the kingdom’s involvement in the war in Yemen and the murder of Saudi journalist Yamal Khashogi.

The coalition agreement of the SPD, Greens and FDP states that “we will not grant arms export licenses to states as long as they are proven to be directly involved in the war in Yemen.”

Party co-leader Omid Nouripour has advocated that Germany help as much as possible in the Ukrainian war “because we see that these weapons save human lives.” “I know this is not easy for a peace party, but peace is not easy,” he has explained.

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