Western German coal region claims greater share of phase-out compensation
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
The western German federal state of Saarland has claimed greater financial support from the federal government for cushioning the effects of the state’s phase-out of hard coal as agreed back in 2007, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports. After the proposal by Germany’s coal exit commission to extend support to other coal regions to the tune of 40 billion euros during the phase-out of lignite (brown coal), dozens of municipalities in the Saarland as well as the state government have complained that the original 2007 coal deal included much lower compensation payments. Today’s debates over financial support “almost exclusively focus on eastern Germany,” Saarland’s economy minister Anke Rehligner said. According to state premier Tobias Hans, the Saarland loses up to 300 million euros per year by giving up coal-fired power production. However, the federal government argues that the region is not as structurally dependent on coal as its fellow regions in the east, and that this would justify lower compensation payments.