The state of Saarland in Saarbrücken is facing an economic struggle for survival. The Federal Constitutional Court’s ruling on the federal climate fund has also affected the state government’s three billion euro transformation fund, putting thousands of jobs at risk, according to MP Anke Rehlinger.
Following the Karlsruhe judge’s ruling, the state parliament will need to annually check whether an emergency situation still exists in order to take on larger debts, which were originally planned to last ten years, including the potential purchase of the Saarlouis Ford site for 95 million euros.
Rehlinger emphasized the crucial weeks ahead for the state’s future viability, especially with regards to the Saarland steel industry and the risk to the path of “green” steel production if expected subsidies from Berlin are cancelled.
While Finance Minister Jakob von Weizsäcker remains cautiously optimistic, FDP General Secretary Marcel Mucker warned of the risk of total economic loss and the potential breach of the SPD’s election promise of new jobs for Saarland if the transformation fund fails.
The Saar Greens are demanding a plan B from the state government and warn against false hopes, emphasizing the need for security not only for the steel industry, but also for medium-sized businesses and trades.
Expert warnings from the economist Lars Feld, who serves on the advisory board for the transformation fund, add to the concerns, describing the special funds of the countries set up to support climate protection or transformation as being potentially unconstitutional in light of the Federal Constitutional Court ruling.