Germany to spend nearly $1 billion on cultural institutions as part of its new economic program to tackle the energy crisis
Germany’s recently adopted Economic Stabilization Fund will include 1 billion euros ($977 million) for cultural institutions, Minister of State for Culture Claudia Roth said this week.
The announcement came after Roth met with the Federal Chancellor and Federal State Premiers on Wednesday, November 2. In a statementshe called the date “a good day for culture in Germany”.
“Yesterday at the cabinet…we talked about how we can help cultural institutions in the face of the energy crisis,” Roth said. “Because it is clear that cultural institutions have a special role in their own right in our society, due to the obligation to preserve cultural assets and as social places, and despite the brakes of electricity prices and gas, there are financial costs which cannot be absorbed by the persons concerned”.
“We have agreed with all the parties concerned, she continued, that one billion euros is allocated to cultural institutions within the framework of the Economic Stabilization Fund”.
Roth explained that she will begin working with federal states to identify “target groups” for aid and “establish administrative procedures” for how the money will be distributed.
“We are particularly concerned about the preservation of the cultural offer, from cinemas to theaters and concerts, but also to institutions such as museums, which do not have the means to face the crisis of their budgets”, declared the minister.
In September, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced that his administration would redirect Economic Stabilization Funda reserve created in 2020 amid the Covid-19 pandemic, with the aim of offsetting the impact of the current energy crisis that has rocked much of Europe since the start of the Russian-Ukrainian war.
Last month, the country’s parliament approved the plan of the ruling coalition borrow 200 billion euros ($195 billion) for the fund.
Until this year, Germany depended on Russia for 55% of its gas. But in August, Russia effectively cut off its gas flow to Germany, leaving the latter country scrambling to find heating and power options before winter.
Scholz ordered the state’s three nuclear plants to remain in operation until next April, despite a previous plan to close the plants at the end of this year. The government is also calling on German citizens to reduce their own gas consumption by at least 20%.
Roth, too, reiterated the importance of reducing, concluding her announcement this week with a plea: “I also say that everyone must do their part and that federal institutions should set a good example and save 20% of their electricity consumption. energy,” she said.
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