N. Peter Kramer’s Weekly Column
To be honest, it is understandable. Germany’s train drivers’ union started nationwide strikes, adding to the traffic chaos as the showdown between farmers and Scholz’ government over farm subsidies continue.
The country has already been hit hard this week by farmers, blocking main roads and motorways. While the train drivers’ strike paralyse much of the national rail system, the traffic chaos caused by farmers is likely to worsen. Both conflicts are about money… about millions. The government won’t budge.
Late last year Germany doubled its military aid for Ukraine in 2024 to €8 billion. Chancellor Scholz let know, that it is not enough and at the same time he blamed other EU memberstates not delivering enough to Ukraine to help it battle the Russian invasion. Also he urged the European Council to give green light for the €50 billion aid package for Ukraine, blocked by Hungary in December.
But see. Data by the ‘Ukraine Support Tracker’ of the Kiel Institute for World Economics show that at least 12 EU countries provide more aid as a percentage to their GDP, compared with Germany, most of them small countries as the Baltic states, the 3 Scandinavian member countries, The Netherlands for instance. And big brothers France, Italy and Spain? They follow at distance.
Obviously, the German chancellor has no lessons to give to EU countries. May be better he starts focussing on the problems in his own country.