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Global Economy

Spain's solidarity – shameful for Germany

"Department stores, cinemas, workplaces, hotels, train stations and airports may be cooled to no less than 27 degrees in summer and heated to a maximum of 19 degrees in winter. In addition, the lighting in unused offices, shop windows and monuments must be switched off after 10 p.m ."

To be honest, I was a little ashamed this morning at 7 a.m. when the news broke. That the Spaniards are now drastically saving energy by law – out of solidarity with Europe. One country in Europe will be particularly dependent on this solidarity. We! We Germans won't have enough gas – and if things get really bad – maybe we won't have enough electricity either in winter.

And not through no fault of any natural disaster – but because of wrong decisions made by German politicians in recent years. We produced well with the cheap gas from Russia – and the government at the time accepted that we made ourselves completely dependent on a dictatorship.

19 degrees room temperature in Spain

That was wrong – that's why we will now especially need the help of the other Europeans. And that's why it should actually be us who enact such energy-saving laws now: save electricity with air conditioning and lighting, and then in the fall with heating.

Housing associations have been asking for clarity for weeks so that they can throttle the heating systems accordingly. At 19 degrees, for example, like the Spaniards.

Instead, the housing minister from the SPD announced – by the way, in unison with the Bavarian prime minister from the CSU: "Legally ordered freezing" is nonsensical. At least 20 degrees must remain in the apartments, otherwise the health of the Germans is at risk.

Small-small instead of clarity

Apparently, the Spaniards are more robust, they can get by with 19 degrees – and set that down by law. We have the usual small things: Here a swimming pool lowers the temperature by one degree, there a public building is no longer illuminated in the evening – all on a voluntary basis. If that doesn't do enough, "if necessary, there will also be legal measures," says Economics Minister Habeck.

The Spaniards do it differently. They don't just wait until the need is greatest, they decide now. And that is exactly what I expect from the federal government.

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