Berlin — German opposition leader Friedrich Merz, the head of the conservative Christian Democrats (CDU), has referred to Chancellor Olaf Scholz's decision not to allow the country's remaining nuclear power plants to continue running as "madness."
Addressing Scholz directly during a debate in the Bundestag parliament, Merz shouted: "Stop this madness!"
He added that the decision not to give the plants an extension could irrevocably damage Germany's status as a beneficial location to do business.
Scholz and his Economy Minister Robert Habeck of the Greens want to to keep two of Germany's last three nuclear power plants on standby, instead of giving them a blanket lifetime extension as demanded by some in the opposition and in his ruling coalition.
The German government is attempting to ensure energy supply for this winter against the backdrop of vastly-reduced gas deliveries via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline from Russia.
Rather than being shut down as planned at the end of the year, the two power plants will be kept on reserve through mid-April in case they are needed to stabilize the electricity grid in southern Germany.
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