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East German Chambers of Industry and Commerce: Letter to Scholz

ILLUSTRATION - A sign points to the Chamber of Industry and Commerce. / Photo: Bernd Wüstneck/zb/dpa
ILLUSTRATION - A sign points to the Chamber of Industry and Commerce. / Photo: Bernd Wüstneck/zb/dpa

In the super election year 2024, the chambers of commerce are concerned about the rise of "extreme forces" and the state of the regional economy. In a letter to the chancellor, they are not sparing with their criticism - and give him a tip.

In an open letter to Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), the East German chambers of industry and commerce have criticized the actions of the federal government. According to the letter, which was signed by the presidents of several chambers from Thuringia, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the regional economy is "in a permanent state of crisis". They criticize the lack of "integration of various interests in the political process". "Instead, a culture of 'decision-making without involvement' and a blatant difference between the words and deeds of the federal government is spreading," says the letter, which was distributed on Monday.

The chambers cite the scandal surrounding the federal budget at the end of last year as an example. "Many trouble spots that already existed before can become a conflagration as a result of the way the federal government deals with the Karlsruhe ruling," write the IHK presidents.

They also criticize the lack of bureaucracy reduction and "incentives for non-work". "All of this is eroding Germany's international competitiveness."

The federal government is presenting a desolate picture to the public. The "heated mood throughout the country" is home-made. This is "grist to the mill of extreme forces", write the IHK representatives with a view to the upcoming state elections in Saxony, Thuringia and Brandenburg this year. "If nothing fundamentally changes in your actions and behavior, we fear that one East German state after the next will become a place of longing for right-wing extremists and an economic transit country," the authors write. In their letter, the chambers tell Chancellor Scholz that fact-based and coordinated work is the best way to combat right-wing populism.

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