Carrot and Stick
German Green Party: Climate protection is “historic opportunity” for the business location Germany. Retired general: Green foreign policy lowers “threshold” for military interventions.
BERLIN (Own report) – The German Green Party (Alliance 90/The Greens) is preparing for the election campaign of its chancellor candidate Annalena Baerbock by advocating arming Ukraine against Russia and proposing support for important branches of the German industry. One cannot refuse the delivery of alleged defensive weapons to Ukraine, according to Green Party Chair Robert Habeck. At the same time, the Party calls for close cooperation with the Biden administration and insists on a commitment to NATO membership, as a prerequisite for future coalition negotiations. While German business circles are increasing their pressure on the party by warning against an alleged “dirigiste concept of government” by the Greens, the party is depicting the climate protection, it promotes, as a “historic opportunity” for German industry, one that will ultimately boost the competitiveness of the “business location Germany.” A retired Bundeswehr general warns that the Green Party’s foreign and military policy concepts significantly lower the “threshold” of future military interventions.
“Bans, Quotas, Technology Requirements”
Because of their high ratings in the polls, even placing them, at times, ahead of the CDU, the Green Party is seen as a likely governing party following federal elections in September. Its popularity boost is already prompting business associations and business-related institutes and the media to discuss the option of a federal government headed by the Greens – and to put pressure on the Party’s leadership through criticism and demands. Referring to statements by the Federation of German Industries (BDI), leading conservative media write that the Green Party’s election program still shows a “basic distrust” toward “market forces.” The BDI warns against a “green planned economy” resulting from the ecological restructuring of society intended to combat the climate crisis and describes the “numerous bans, quotas and technology requirements” in the Green party program as “building blocks of a different social order” and an indication of a “pronounced dirigiste concept of government.” The lobby association is thus particularly criticizing the demand for higher CO2 prices and for climate impact assessments for companies. Business-related research institutes also criticize the call for a faster phase-out of coal-based power generation (2030 instead of 2038); the abolition of the internal combustion engine as of 2030; for a higher CO2 price of 60 euros per ton by 2023; and the intended reduction of CO2 emissions by 70 percent by 2030, compared to its 1990 levels. Other points in the program coming under criticism include a higher hourly minimum wage of 12 euros, the equal treatment of temporary workers, the right to home office and the scrapping of Hartz IV sanctions (“Hartz IV has basically proven itself”). The announced promotion of innovations in the industry within the framework of the “Green New Deal,” however, has met with approval.
Typical Western Double Standards (I)
IPAC explicitly aims at promoting a “coherent response” to China’s rise. The new alliance – comprising transatlantic states and close allies, Japan and Australia – is demanding that China abide by standards that western powers have repeatedly violated: The People’s Republic of China must be held to the “standards of the international legal order.” There is no mention of the wars against Yugoslavia (1999), Iraq (2003) or Libya (2011), which western powers have waged in various constellations in violation of international law. IPAC founding member Bütikofer, for example, supported the war against Yugoslavia in 1999 as the political administrator of the then coalition governing Green Party. IPAC also declared that China be held to the standards of the rules-based order of the WTO. The Trump administration’s practices violating those rules are not mentioned. Beijing should also not be permitted to compromise the sovereignty of recipient countries for example through credits. IPAC does not mention the practice of the western dominated International Monetary Fund (IMF) imposing draconian austerity programs against the will of credit recipients.
“At Last a Sanctions Mechanism”
It is particularly becoming apparent that the IPAC seeks to have Europe enforce the US sanctions policy. US Senators Rubio and Menendez are the main forces behind the introduction of the relevant US laws, which, using the excuse of seeking to take action against Beijing’s measures in Hong Kong and in Xinjiang, open the door to punitive actions against the People’s Republic of China. US President Donald Trump should soon be signing the Xinjiang bill into law. The bill pertaining to Hong Kong has already been in effect since last November. Bütikofer recently spoke in favor of “at last installing a concerted pan-EU global sanctions mechanism,” to eventually “be able to “impose sanctions for human rights violations on Chinese officials.” IPAC has chosen this means of having influence through parliaments, where the US government has yet to be successful in forcing other governments through direct pressure to adopt its sanctions policy. One example is Great Britain, where, since some time, particularly pro-USA Tory backbenchers are adamantly insisting that their government’s decision to a limited Huawei participation in setting up the British 5G network be revised. IPAC now permits such practices to be expanded.
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