German Prime Minister Angela Merkel is taking the gloves off when it comes to the phase-out of nuclear energy in her country:
In a speech to a party rally in Wiesbaden, Merkel went further than before to criticise her junior coalition partners, the Social Democrats, for their refusal to reconsider laws requiring German producers to shut down nuclear plants by 2020.I like that last paragraph, don't you? It makes it sound as if Merkel is proposing some massive nuclear building program, when all she's really talking about is keeping all energy options open -- and that means not hamstringing the German economy by phasing out virtually all of its emission-free generating capacity.
"I consider it to be wrong that we're turning off our nuclear plants only because that is what was agreed," Merkel said. "The bad news is, however, the Social Democrats consider that to be important," she added.
Merkel said the conservatives could still push for a review of the phase-out.
"No one can prevent us from discussing the topic of energy anymore. We're facing challenges and need to develop strategies to ensure our energy supplies over the years ahead," she said.
Nuclear power currently supplies a third of German electricity. Opinion polls regularly show the vast majority of the public opposed to any further extension of nuclear power.
If Merkel is able to shed her current partners in the German coalition government in a susequent election, the phase-out will be history.
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