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Manuela Schwesig: Minister-President of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (SPD)

Photo: Bernd von Jutrczenka / dpa

The SPD Prime Ministers Manuela Schwesig, Dietmar Woidke and Stephan Weil have expressed their displeasure with the traffic light coalition in view of the dispute over the heating law. It is "very unfortunate that the whole issue of climate protection has been damaged," said Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania's head of government Schwesig of the "Süddeutsche Zeitung". The AfD uses "frustration and uncertainty as a major mobilization issue." Brandenburg's head of government, Woidke, said that politicians must "take people with them" when it comes to climate protection.

According to polls, the AfD is currently the most popular party in both Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Brandenburg, with an approval rating of 28 to 29 percent, as in Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt. In Thuringia, a recent poll sees the AfD even at 34 percent.

Many citizens are very worried about what will happen to them as a result of the Heating Act, Schwesig said. The federal government must now use the postponement of the vote on the law, which was forced by the Federal Constitutional Court, to "explain what is being decided in concrete terms," Schwesig demanded.

Many people are "highly dissatisfied" with politics

Woidke said that when it comes to climate protection, it must be clear at an early stage what is planned and that no one will be overwhelmed financially. This must be "the guideline for all further projects".

The head of government of Lower Saxony, Weil, demanded in the "Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung" that the government must act as one. At the moment, many people are "highly dissatisfied" with politics and are therefore looking for an outlet for their displeasure – which is "all too often the AfD". Above all, the "inadequate preparation" of the Heating Act had harmed.

After the fierce disputes over climate policy in the second half of the legislative period, the German government wants to focus on economic and social policy issues. For the workers, it is particularly important "that we continue to strengthen collective bargaining," said SPD parliamentary group leader Rolf Mützenich of the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung". The coalition will also "ensure that the pension contribution rate does not rise above 20 percent and at the same time secure the minimum pension level at 48 percent."