Chancellor Olaf Scholz has defended Germany as a business location against criticism. In an interview with the ZDF program “Berlin direkt”, he referred to investments by foreign companies in Germany worth billions. The SPD politician expressed reservations again about the proposal by Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) for a state-subsidized, lower industrial electricity price.

In view of the economic downturn and because of the high energy prices in an international comparison, business associations are calling for broad relief. Associations also warn against the exodus of companies.

SPD leader Saskia Esken warned: “We shouldn’t make the mistake of talking industry and the economy as a whole into the depression.” Germany is a strong country with a strong economic base. “Half the battle is psychology,” she said in the ARD summer interview.

Scholz said large direct investments are taking place in Germany. Semiconductor production will be greatly expanded. Companies settled there consciously. “You have decided in favor of Germany as a business location.”

The Taiwanese chip manufacturer TSMC had announced that it would build a semiconductor plant in Dresden. The group expects that the investments will exceed ten billion euros. Half of it is expected to be raised by the state as a subsidy. In addition, Intel in Magdeburg is to receive almost 10 billion euros from the state for investments of 30 billion euros for a new location.

Criticism from the medium-sized economy

Criticism came again from these subsidies from medium-sized businesses. Politicians are currently doing everything they can to “break the backbone of small and medium-sized businesses,” said Christoph Ahlhaus, federal director of the Federal Association of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses, to “Bild am Sonntag”. “Distribute gifts worth billions at the main entrance to Germany’s most lucrative markets, while the harassed medium-sized companies take the emergency exit abroad. This is pure deindustrialization and a tragedy for our country.”

Scholz, on the other hand, argued that Germany was very successful as an export nation. If growth weakens a bit elsewhere, it will be noticeable. “But you can’t throw the baby out with the bath water now.” The federal government is working to solve problems. He referred to planned simplifications in the immigration of foreign skilled workers. With regard to energy prices, the Chancellor said that the federal government was structurally responsible for making electricity generation in Germany cheaper – by expanding generation capacities and the electricity grids.