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Kühnert at Markus Lanz (ZDF): Scholz is “available” for excess profit tax

Created: 08/17/2022, 11:18 am

In der ersten Talk-Runde nach der Sommerpause ging es bei Markus Lanz auch um die Gas-Krise.
In the first round of talks after the summer break, Markus Lanz also dealt with the gas crisis. © Screenshot/ZDF

Kevin Kühnert tells Markus Lanz that he believes Olaf Scholz could agree to an excess profit tax. A journalist is surprised by the statement.

Hamburg – Can you still take the talk show at Markus Lanz on ZDF seriously? At least comic author and artist Levin Kurio has long since stopped doing this. In the 65th edition of the “Hammerharte Horror-Schocker” booklet series that has just been published, in the cover story “Humanity is lost: slime returns”, he is teasing the moderator and some of his permanent guests. A yellowish protoplasma monster that consumes everything that lives is leaving its cruel trail on planet Earth, which connects the presenter, whom Kurio calls “Markus Wanz”, with the Federal Chancellor, who happens to look like Olaf Scholz, the representative of the Arms Industry Association Zack-Strimmermann (sic !) and the “slime expert” Dr. Schrotz has heated discussions on television about how to fight the sinister opponent.

Markus “Wanz” to his guest of honour: “Mr. Chancellor, slime! It has been raging in Hamburg for days and is now covering large parts of the city. You are accused of hesitant action. – In fact, this thing will soon be so big that you wouldn’t even be able to stop it with a nuclear weapon.” The Chancellor was unnerved: “I’m in close contact with experts, Mr. The Bundeswehr is using all conventional means against it… Are you asking me to use nuclear weapons on German soil?”

Markus Lanz: The round of talks about the gas crisis is very complex

However, Markus Lanz’s first show after the summer break was not as amusing as the satirical horror comic. Instead, the sometimes tough talk about gas, money and justice with SPD Secretary General Kevin Kühnert (SPD), journalist Kerstin Münstermann, economist Prof. Dr. Karen Pittel and the head of the Federal Network Agency, Klaus Müller, who is connected from Berlin, are rather complex. And although this time the host naturally did not call for the use of nuclear weapons in order to get a grip on the energy problem caused by the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine and the associated sanctions, the participants in the discussion did not agree, as in Levin Kurio’s media parody. In addition, nothing really new was brought to light.

After all, on the still midsummer Tuesday evening, Kevin Kühnert let the real Markus Lanz elicit that the chance of an excess profit tax would not be bad: “I understand him so that he is available for it,” says the SPD general secretary about his party comrade, Chancellor Olaf Scholz, whom he wanted to prevent some time ago from becoming party leader. “Your chancellor is against it,” Markus Lanz had previously told him. “No, he pointed out that that wasn’t agreed in the coalition agreement,” Kevin Kühnert corrects him, “but 100 billion for the Bundeswehr wasn’t agreed in the coalition agreement either.”

Markus Lanz: Kühnert hints at excess profit tax

The Federal Chancellor, who was notorious for his cautious and hesitant language for tactical reasons, had previously only said that an excess profit tax was not planned “at the moment” or “at the moment”. “This statement leaves everything else open and that’s right,” says Kevin Kühnert. Aha! For him, not letting energy companies “get away” with hugely increased profit margins also has something to do with “self-respect as a society”. He is clearly speaking out against those who profit from the crisis. The SPD man owns the first third of the show, from which Markus Lanz probably expects a high quota.

“Markus Lanz” (ZDF) – Broadcast from August 16, 2022 The guests of the show
Kevin Kuehnert SPD General Secretary
Kerstin Munstermann Journalist from “Rheinische Post”
Klaus Mueller President of the Federal Network Agency
Prof. Dr. Karen Pittel Economist from the Ifo Institute

And Kevin Kühnert does not splash out: according to a study, revenue from an excess profit tax could bring the state up to 100 billion euros. He intends to use the money raised as a result, among other things, for relief for medium-high incomes. Markus Lanz now wants to know specific numbers. And so the Social Democrat calls up to 3,000 euros for single households and 4,000 to 6,000 euros for couples. Kevin Kühnert somewhat flippantly: “We’re not just looking at people who were last in line at the table, we’re talking about large parts of society.”

Markus Lanz: Does Lindner know about the SPD plans for an excess profit tax?

This makes the otherwise level-headed journalist Kerstin Münstermann literally jump out of his skin: “I wonder if Mr. Lindner knows what you are planning?” to want. She accuses the government of technical errors in the question that Brussels has now answered in the negative as to whether the gas levy can also be levied without VAT and already knows with regard to the gas bills in autumn: “The relief will not be enough.”

This is a steep template for Markus Lanz, who is now presenting a model calculation from his editors: The annual gas bill for a family of five including the gas levy from August 2021 to August 2022 could triple and rise from 1,250 euros to almost 3568 euros! Karen Pittel from the Munich Ifo Institute takes the same line. From her circle of acquaintances she found out that gas prices had increased from 7 to 25 cents per kilowatt hour! That’s why the VAT on the gas levy of 0.4 cents is “just a drop in the ocean”. On the other hand, it is not fair for them if only the gas customers have to pay for the additional costs and for the rescue of the public utilities.

Markus Lanz: Kühnert would also like to ask mineral oil companies to pay

Kevin Kühnert, who rarely allows himself to be lured out of his reserve, now warns of social divisions: “We shouldn’t wait for thousands of people to take to the streets with signs and say: You’re leeching us, but you’re letting the big ones go.” He would therefore like to ask the oil companies to pay more. Karen Pittel, on the other hand, thinks it is wrong to determine the profit that was actually made only because of the crisis in the case of an excess profit tax: “Justice cannot be the only yardstick. Justice eventually meets reality.”

The head of the Federal Network Agency, Klaus Müller, who has so far been neglected, continues to call for savings and technical heating optimization in households. Markus Lanz’s accusation of “scaremongering” because the gas storage tanks could be filled to 75 percent faster than planned, he vehemently rejects; “In order to avoid a shortage this winter and next, we have to save gas.” He warns that without Russian gas, the storage facilities would “just last two and a half months”. Turning to economist Karen Pittel, Klaus Müller drops the bomb, even if it’s not a nuclear weapon: “I don’t share the conclusion that we could do without Russian gas. That is not the case for the foreseeable future.” You would need 20 percent from Nord Stream 1 so that if you didn’t have problems in winter 2022/23, you would have them guaranteed in 2023/24.

Markus Lanz: What about the remaining nuclear power plants?

Markus Lanz also wants to know why the extremely environmentally harmful lignite is not getting back into the energy mix more quickly, and what the situation is with the three remaining nuclear power plants. Kevin Kühnert reports on a visit to Cottbus, where a brown coal plant is now to be reactivated after personnel and space decisions have just been made to switch operations towards renewable energy. A difficult undertaking for him: “Now the role should be reversed on the running track.” Kerstin Münstermann picks up the thread and criticizes the current Federal Chancellor, who could have led the debate about nuclear power a little clearer and more positively: “I’m sure , the nuclear power plants will continue to run for at least a short period of time,” is their prognosis. “I found the shower story to be the summer slump this year,” she says indignantly.

To the broadcast

“Markus Lanz” from August 16, 2022 on ZDF. The whole program in the ZDF media library

Klaus Müller, who speaks very quickly and with a good portion of pressure in his voice, then announces a new bottleneck: Given the low level of the river, coal will probably have to be transported preferentially on the railway lines. Markus Lanz, who so often criticizes the “apocalypse painted on the wall” of his guests, now has visions of doom himself: “Will Deutsche Bahn only transport coal and no more people in the fall?” he asks anxiously. In the meantime, people are used to train delays, they say in unison. So, for once, everyone agrees on this mild summer evening. (Marc Hairapetian)

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