Energy crisis: CDU leadership wants price caps for basic electricity and gas needs

The closest CDU leadership around party leader Friedrich Merz wants to bring the traffic light government of Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) under pressure to act with their own proposals to relieve citizens and companies of the high energy prices.

Energy crisis: CDU leadership wants price caps for basic electricity and gas needs

The closest CDU leadership around party leader Friedrich Merz wants to bring the traffic light government of Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) under pressure to act with their own proposals to relieve citizens and companies of the high energy prices. A draft for the energy proposal for the upcoming federal party conference, available to the German Press Agency in Berlin, provides for a price cap for private households for basic electricity and gas requirements. The meeting of the 1001 delegates begins on Friday in Hanover. In view of the looming debate over the introduction of a women's quota, prominent CDU politicians urged moderation.

The draft for the energy lead application says about the gas cap: "The basic gas requirement should be 75 percent of the previous year's consumption and a price of 12 cents per kilowatt hour should be guaranteed." The paper was finalized on Wednesday evening and sent to the board members.

The Executive Board should discuss and decide on the lead proposal this Thursday afternoon at a preparatory meeting. On Friday, the delegates should discuss and decide on the application. The online medium "Business Insider" had also reported on a draft.

Draft for lead motion: six-month moratorium on dismissals

According to the ten-page draft, a price cap would disproportionately relieve people with low and middle incomes. The energy flat rate of 300 euros decided by the federal government is too low for people with low and middle incomes in view of the sharp rise in energy prices. "Therefore, households in the lower third of the income bracket should be supported with a 1,000-euro energy allowance." A moratorium on termination of all private electricity and gas supply contracts is also required for the next six months.

"Energy citizen vouchers" and craftsman vouchers

In order to promote energy saving, the introduction of "energy citizen vouchers" for all private households that save energy is also required. "For example, every kilowatt hour of gas saved compared to 2021 could be rewarded," the paper says. In addition, citizens should receive a tradesman's voucher worth 100 euros if they have their heating systems checked for efficiency this year.

Süssmuth pleads for approval of the women's quota

Ex-Bundestag President Rita Süssmuth (CDU) called on her party to introduce a women's quota. "In this difficult European and global political situation, there must be broad political participation by women," the 85-year-old told dpa. Women are "urgently needed in the search for problem solutions, concrete help and alternatives to war". The SPD, the Greens and the Left have achieved a high proportion of women in the Bundestag through their statutes. That is also necessary in the CDU and must be possible.

At the same time, Süssmuth warned her party about the negative effects of the quota dispute. "The never-ending squabbling divides and weakens us - now it depends on old and new strengths," she said, adding: "This party congress must strengthen our cohesion and reduce polarization."

There are concerns in the CDU leadership that the discussion and vote on a women's quota planned for Friday evening could overshadow the substantive debate on the issues that concern people in view of energy prices. The business wing and the youngsters of the Junge Union (JU) reject a quota. In order to accommodate the opponents, party leader Friedrich Merz has proposed a time limit until the end of 2029.

Tight outcome of the quota vote expected

The party is expecting a close vote. If Merz did not prevail with his compromise proposal, he would have suffered the first defeat in his term of office, which has lasted since the end of January.

North Rhine-Westphalia's Prime Minister and CDU leader Hendrik Wüst also campaigned for the quota. "What we are doing now with the quota, in several steps, for a limited time - for me the measure of all things," he said on Wednesday at an event organized by the news portal "The Pioneer" in Düsseldorf. However, quoting is not something you should strive for per se: "I have to say, however, that in many places we may not get anywhere without it." Wüst warned opponents and supporters of the quota for moderation: "I advise you to discuss very calmly and properly, to decide quickly and then turn to the problems of the country."

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