EU civil war: VDL sides with Macron over nuclear row – ‘slap in the face’ for Germany

Angela Merkel says she will ‘miss Emmanuel Macron’

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After the EU Commission President dubbed nuclear energy sustainable, Focus Online correspondent Ulrich Reitz, labelled the move as a “slap in the face” for the German government. He said: “The Greens firmly reject the classification of nuclear power and gas as green and sustainable. “This is no wonder: the relevant decision of the European Commission is more than a slap in the face for the anti-nuclear and pro-energy transition party – a painful lesson in realpolitik.”

Tensions sparked between the Commission and Germany amid plans put forward by the former to draw up a taxonomy list.

Under this proposed list, money will be channelled to new technologies with the aim of decarbonising the bloc’s economy.

France and Poland have pushed for nuclear energy to be placed on the list due to their reliance on the resource, which Germany has phased out.

Mr Reitz also highlighted the friction between Germany’s stance against nuclear energy and France.

He added: “Not only does the President of the Commission in Brussels see it that way.

“French President Emanuel Macron has long been of this opinion, as has the Polish government.

“Paris and Warsaw, however, are Germany’s two most important partners in Europe.

“This fact leads directly to the essence of realpolitik.

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“While idealism thrives on the power of conviction, realpolitik is the art of the possible.

“And it starts with looking at what is, i.e. reality.

“And part of the reality is that Germany’s most important allies in Europe do not want to participate in the German way of energy transition.”

Following the Commission’s plans to classify nuclear energy as sustainable, one Green MEP criticised Ms von der Leyen.

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Rasmus Andresen, a German Green MEP said: “Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s proposal is a step backwards.

“Her credibility on climate policy has suffered significant cracks.

“Nuclear and fossil gas are not sustainable.

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“There are more realistic and better alternatives to make Europe climate neutral.

“Von der Leyen’s proposal sets the wrong incentives for investors.”

Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.

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