German leader focuses on energy, Ukraine in new year message

Dec 30, 2022, 1:00 AM | Updated: 3:10 pm
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz arrives for the last regular cabinet meeting of the German government...

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz arrives for the last regular cabinet meeting of the German government in 2022 at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

(AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

BERLIN (AP) — Chancellor Olaf Scholz is celebrating Germany’s progress in freeing itself from reliance on Russian gas, urging people to keep saving energy in the new year and vowing to keep up help for Ukraine.

Scholz’s televised new year message, the text of which was released by his office before its broadcast Saturday, focused squarely on the effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and his government’s efforts to cushion the impact for people in Germany.

But, he added, “the history of 2022 is not purely one of war, suffering and worry.” Ukrainians are defending their homeland, “thanks in part to our help — and we will continue to support Ukraine,” he said. Germany has given military equipment and financial aid.

The European Union and NATO, Scholz added, are more united than they have been for a long time, “and we in Germany did not bow down when Russia turned off the gas this summer — because we refuse to be blackmailed.”

Russia, which used to account for more than half of the country’s natural gas supply, hasn’t delivered any gas to Germany since the end of August.

Germany embarked on an effort to store gas and diversify its supplies following the invasion of Ukraine, and started building liquefied natural gas terminals — the first of which was inaugurated two weeks ago. Others are set to follow in the coming months.

“With these efforts, we are making our country and Europe independent of Russian gas for the long term,” Scholz said. “And we are getting ourselves through this winter — also thanks, incidentally, to well-stocked gas storage facilities and to the joint effort we have made to save energy over recent months.”

“That will remain important in the months ahead,” he said.

Scholz also pointed to various packages the government has put together to dampen the effects of rising prices for energy and other things. Germany’s annual inflation rate currently stands at 10%.

The chancellor said this year’s story is one of “cohesion and strength — and, yes, one of confidence as well” and urged Germans to continue in the same vein in 2023.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Baby girl found abandoned in Florida an hour after birth

MULBERRY, Fla. (AP) — Florida authorities found a newborn girl wrapped in a blanket and still attached to a placenta on a hill outside a trailer park early Saturday morning. Polk County deputies responding to a call about a baby crying outside near Mulberry, east of Tampa, found the girl about an hour after she […]
2 days ago
People worship during Sunday services at the Mount Olive Cathedral CME Church, as the death of Tyre...
Associated Press

Memphis pastor prays for continued peace after video release

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Members of Mt. Olive Cathedral Church in Memphis gathered for worship on Sunday, two days after Tyre Nichols’ parents spoke from the sanctuary and called for peace following the release of video showing their son’s fatal beating at the hands of police. “We’ve had calm so far, which is what we […]
2 days ago
The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, center, is welcomed by U.S. amb...
Associated Press

US urges donors to give far more as Somalia faces famine

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — The first U.S. Cabinet member to visit Somalia since 2015 urged the world’s distracted donors Sunday to give immediate help to a country facing deadly famine, which she calls “the ultimate failure of the international community.” The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, heard perhaps the starkest warning yet […]
2 days ago
Elon Musk departs the Phillip Burton Federal Building and United States Court House in San Francisc...
Associated Press

Elon Musk’s mysterious ways on display in Tesla tweet trial

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Elon Musk’s enigmatic personality and unconventional tactics are emerging as key exhibits in a trial revolving around one of his most polarizing pursuits — tweeting. The trial, centered on a pair of tweets announcing Musk had obtained the money to take Tesla private in 2018, reeled the 51-year-old billionaire into a […]
2 days ago
FILE - House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of Calif., pauses during a break in the taping of an interview ...
Associated Press

Biden, McCarthy to discuss debt limit in talks on Wednesday

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Sunday he is looking forward to discussing with President Joe Biden a “reasonable and responsible way that we can lift the debt ceiling ” when the two meet Wednesday for their first sit-down at the White House since McCarthy was elected to the post. McCarthy, R-Calif., said […]
2 days ago
Associated Press

Three kids, one adult killed in Iowa crash that also hurt 9

WELLSBURG, Iowa (AP) — Authorities have identified the three children and one adult who died in a rollover crash in northern Iowa that also injured the nine other passengers Friday morning. The Iowa State Patrol said Marlin Borntreger, 1; Rebecca Borntreger, 2; Emma Borntreger, 4; and Ervin J. Borntreger, 22, all died. None of the […]
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
German leader focuses on energy, Ukraine in new year message