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Germany’s Lafontaine Argues, Buy Russian Gas Again, Stop Arming Ukraine, End ‘Debt Brake’

On the Sandra Maischberger primetime television show, Oskar Lafontaine, former senior politician of the SPD and Die Linke party, said that former SPD Chancellor Gerhard Schröder (1998-2005) was a better head of government than current SPD Chancellor Olaf Scholz: “He has recognized, for example, that an industrial nation needs cheap energy. Scholz doesn’t seem to understand that.” Lafontaine attacked the hypocrisy whereby gas and oil imports from Russia are officially sanctioned, but Germany now imports, at high prices, large quantities of oil from India, which is importing vast amounts of oil from Russia that used to go to Germany. “It would be better to buy cheap energy directly from Russia.”

To tackle the current budget crisis, Lafontaine proposed savings, particularly in the military. . “When I see people saying that we are doubling our donations to Ukraine, I ask myself: Can they not draw any conclusions from reality?” In almost two years, the West has achieved nothing by supplying weapons to Ukraine. Many people have died and Ukraine has been largely destroyed. Lafontaine: “If you have taken a path that turns out to be wrong, you have to correct it.” Giving billions to Ukraine is not justifiable, he insisted.

Ten years ago Lafontaine had criticized the introduction of the “debt brake” as a mistake in policy. Now, he thinks, it should either be abolished or reformed. “I don’t know of any other country that has this nonsense,” he remarked, adding that the debt brake has proven to be an obstacle to investment. If it were abolished, it would not automatically mean that more debt would have to be incurred. Otherwise, Lafontaine is calling for tax cuts for the middle classes and tax increases for the “very, very rich.”