Muddled Merkel calls in nuclear wise men

Published on 23 March 2011 at 11:01


A week after deciding to shut down seven nuclear power plants, “Merkel is looking for an emergency exit,” notes the Financial Times Deutschland. On 22 March the German Chancellor appointed a committee of “sages” to evaluate the risks of nuclear energy. Klaus Töpfer, former Environment Minister and Christian Democrat and a critic of nuclear power, will head the commission, which will be composed equally of scientists and representatives of the churches. According to the business daily, Merkel is seeking to legitimise the decision she took following the accident in Fukushima. “Setting up commissions suggests lengthy consultations leading to conclusions as soft as wax, which will be of no interest to anyone,” notes FT Deutschland. “In addition, the decision to set up the commission comes just four days before the hotly contested regional elections. [Merkel]’s motives are primarily electoral. But this does not alter the reality [...] that there will be no turning back.” The purpose of the commission is to phase out nuclear power in Germany by 2020.

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