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German Labour Leader Calls For New Coal-Fired Power Plants

Rising electricity prices are a growing worry for North Rhine-Westphalia’s Prime Minister Hannelore Kraft (Social Democrats, SPD). “I am very concerned about the competitiveness of our energy-intensive industry,” Kraft told the newspapers of the WAZ-Group. For many industries, including chemical, steel, aluminium or cement, the electricity price is a key cost factor.

Kraft demanded that the Federal Government ensured that the EU Commission authorised government subsidies for energy-intensive industries so that they could plan long term. Otherwise she fears creeping job losses in North Rhine-Westphalia.

The SPD politician pleaded for the construction of new coal-fired power plants. “We will continue to need fossil fuel plants as a bridge technology,” she said. After all, the Social Democrats had strengthened their vote in the recent state election because of the SPD’s very aggressively support for industry.

Translation Philpp Mueller

Die Welt, 25 May 2012