"Link up and stick together": With this appeal by Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), the "concerted action" begins this Monday.

However, the demands that are being made because of the massive price increases, especially for energy and food, are polyphonic and sometimes contradictory.

In a video message, the chancellor said that “in such a difficult time” he had invited trade unions, employers’ associations, the Bundesbank and scientists “to talk to us about what we are doing.

We have to link arms and stick together.”

Katja Gelinsky

Business correspondent in Berlin

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The meeting will be attended on behalf of employees and employers by the Chair of the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB), Yasmin Fahimi, and Employer President Rainer Dulger, as well as the Chairs of other major trade unions and business associations.

From politics, Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens), Federal Minister of Finance Christian Linder (FDP) and Federal Minister of Labor Hubertus Heil (SPD) will be there.

Other participants are Bundesbank President Joachim Nagel and Monika Schnitzer, member of the Advisory Council for the Assessment of Macroeconomic Development.

DGB boss for energy price cap

The government dampened expectations that the meeting could bring quick solutions to the problem of inflation.

Concrete decisions would not be made at the first meeting, said government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit.

"It's more about a general view of the current situation in order to talk to each other in the next few weeks and slowly agree on results together." The aim of the concerted action is to "prevent or mitigate real income losses and at the same time reduce the risk of a price spiral to prevent".

However, opinions on how this can be achieved differ widely.

Among other things, Scholz would like to talk about tax-free one-off payments from companies.

In return, the unions should exercise restraint in their wage demands in the ongoing wage negotiations.

However, the parties to the collective bargaining agreement cannot gain much from the proposal.

Finance Minister Lindner was also skeptical.

Even in Scholz's own party, the idea doesn't really catch on.

SPD leader Saskia Esken said at the weekend: "One-off payments and temporary relief measures help in the short term, but are not a long-term solution."

Instead, DGB boss Fahimi proposed a third relief package with an energy price cap for private households.

The state should give a price guarantee for basic gas and electricity needs.

The workers' wing of the CDU and CSU is also calling for further government relief, for example by temporarily reducing VAT on staple foods and extending the flat-rate energy cost allowance to other groups of people such as pensioners and young parents.

In addition, the benefits for Hartz IV recipients would have to be increased “if necessary in special rounds”.

Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier also advocated further relief, especially for low earners.

Not everyone benefits in the same way from the relief packages.

They could therefore only be a kind of intermediate status, he said on Sunday in the ZDF summer interview.

“We need to talk more seriously about savings”

Economics Minister Habeck spoke at the weekend of a "quasi economic warfare dispute" with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Habeck and the President of the Federal Network Agency, Klaus Müller, expressed concern that Putin could use the annual maintenance work on the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, which begins on July 11, to finally turn off the gas tap.

The situation is already dramatic because of the 60 percent reduction in gas deliveries through the pipeline, Müller said in an interview with the Funke media group: “What Putin is giving us with Nord Stream 1 means that we can triple it.

One can only guess how things will continue.

"Many consumers will be shocked when they receive mail from their energy supplier."

Müller warned: "We have to talk more seriously about savings." All house and apartment owners should check the gas condensing boilers and radiators in summer and adjust them efficiently.

Gas consumption could thus be reduced by 10 to 15 percent.

Müller also did not want to rule out statutory savings measures for private households: “Personally, I would like control to be based more on prices and less on bans.

But I doubt that everyone looks at the gas exchange every day and draws the right conclusions for their lives from it.”

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