East German coal workers worried about uncertain future
Coal workers in the mining region of Lusatia in eastern Germany are preparing for an uncertain future as the country’s coal exit moves forward, writes Anna Saraste in Die Zeit. With a variety of operations in the area, including opencast lignite mines, the energy firm Leag employs about 7,700 people in the region, including many of the better-paid jobs, the report notes. "If we could, we would earn our money differently," Georg Ortmann, who works in the industry, told the paper.
Germany is planning to phase out coal by 2038, by which time all coal-fired power plants must be shut down or converted. The plan which calls for new jobs to be created in regions such as Lusatia, with new research centres, universities and infrastructure planned. These economic support programmes which were formalised in the end of August 2020 are going to be worth 40 billion euros. But many people in the area remain sceptical, the report notes.