Germany’s newly-passed Economic Stabilization Fund will include €1 billion ($977 million) for cultural institutions. The country’s Minister of State for Culture Claudia Roth said this week. The announcement came on Wednesday, November 2. This includes a meeting between Roth, the Federal Chancellor, and the Prime Ministers of the federal states.
Germany Starts With Identifying Target Groups for Aid
In a statement, she called the date a “good day for culture in Germany.” “Yesterday in the cabinet… we talked about how we can help cultural institutions which are facing the energy crisis”, Roth said. She also said cultural institutions play a vital role in the society.
“Due to the obligation to preserve cultural assets and social places, there are financial burdens that cannot be absorbed by those affected”, said Roth, even though there are breaks in gas and electricity prices.
Roth explained that she will work with the federal states to identify “target groups” for aid. Also, she will establish administrative procedures for meeting out the money. “We are particularly concerned with the preservation of cultural offerings”, she adds.
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This includes cinemas, theatres and concerts. But it also includes institutions such as museums, which do not have the means to deal with the crisis in their budgets.
Re-purposing of the Economic Stabilization Fund
In September, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced his administration would re-purpose the Economic Stabilization Fund. The fund creation dates from 2020, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Altogether, this was an effort to offset the impact of the ongoing energy crisis. The energy crisis rocked much of Europe since the start of the Russo-Ukrainian War. Last month, the country’s parliament approved the ruling coalition’s plan to borrow €200 billion ($195 billion) for the fund.
Until this year, Germany relied on Russia for as much as 55 percent of its gas. But in August, Russia effectively turned off its gas flow to Germany. This left Germany scrambled for heating and power options ahead of the winter.
Scholz ordered the state’s three nuclear power plants to remain in use through next April. On the other hand, a previous plan was to shut down the stations at the end of this year. The government is also calling on German citizens to reduce their own gas consumption by at least 20 percent.
Roth adds everyone needs to make a contribution. Adding that federal institutions should set a good example and save 20% of their energy consumption.