Documents prove it: Schwesig was inaugurated at the climate foundation – News

Status: 04/13/2022 8:45 p.m.

New details have become known about the background of the controversial “Foundation for Climate and Environmental Protection MV”. State government records available to the NDR show that Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig (SPD) must have been aware of the details of the foundation.

by Stefan Ludmann, NDR 1 Radio MV Aktuell

Much of the nearly 1,000 pages of two files that the state government made available to several other media upon request after the “Welt am Sonntag” were blacked out – names in particular were rendered unrecognizable, for example those responsible for Nord Stream 2 AG. It is striking that the history of the founding of the foundation does not appear in the archives either. The first emails date from the fall of 2020, but the idea for the foundation was born long before that.

“Profanely phrased in North German: Läääuuuft.”

From the documents released by the State Chancellery, it is clear that the driving force was then Energy Minister Christian Level (SPD). However, the minister coordinated closely with Prime Minister Schwesig’s state chancellery. Several emails were sent to the Head of the State Chancellery, Heiko Geue (SPD). Thus, leve Geue informed on November 23, 2020 that Nord Stream 2 AG had “three changes that were close to my heart” at the level of the articles of association, which he had inserted. On November 24 – three days before the planned and then postponed establishment of the foundation in the state parliament – pegel happily wrote to “dear Heiko” that the Ministry of Justice had no objections to the establishment of the foundation. The minister exulted: “Profanely phrased in northern German: Läääuuuft.”

Further information

Prime Minister Schwesig (SPD) has given his former energy minister the main responsibility for the controversial foundation. After

Environment Minister Backhaus expelled

The records do not specify why the foundation did not operate on November 27. It is clear, however, that the SPD had also ushered in the coalition partner CDU and the left. In the meantime, there were apparently also disagreements within the state government. Agriculture and Environment Minister Till Backhaus (SPD) wanted nature protection to have a greater influence. The last member of the board, former Prime Minister Erwin Sellering (SPD), did not want Backhaus on board.

The second attempt to create the foundation then took place at the turn of the year 2020/2021. Records again show a busy energy minister trying to coordinate with the state chancellery. The cabinet’s decision on January 5 and the founding two days later in a special session of state parliament came with a hot needle. There was an intense email exchange between the level and the head of the state chancellery, Geue. The diaries give the impression that the two had nothing else to do.

The Nord Stream representative strives for favorable reports

In the background, Nord Stream 2’s “Communications Manager Germany” lit up again and again. The name has been obscured in the files, but it can only be Steffen Ebert. He is well known among journalists as someone who also tried to impose favorable coverage on the pipeline project and the foundation. Ebert was there several times in the best laps between Matthias Warnig, managing director of Nord Stream 2, and Schwesig and Geue. Ebert made an extremely odd wish ahead of a planned state government background discussion with reporters. We would like “an employee of our Berlin agency to participate in order to record and record the statements as well as the questions and answers”.

Foundation as ‘smart response’ to US sanctions threats

Recording confidential conversations is generally considered a criminal offense – but senior Nord Stream 2 executives have made some extremely questionable suggestions in this regard. Apparently they were unaware of the problem. Ebert’s boss, Warnig, was a Stasi officer before 1990. The substantive conversation did not take place. The State Chancellery meanwhile said the request would not have been granted anyway. Nord Stream man Ebert also tried to sell the pipeline and the idea of ​​the foundation well to the public. He suggested “positioning the foundation with a wink as a ‘smart response’ to the intransigent behavior of the United States”.

The state government followed exactly this public relations strategy. Prime Minister Schwesig has repeatedly sold the foundation in response to the threat of US sanctions against companies involved in building the pipeline. The foundation’s own company was supposed to ensure that these sanctions were circumvented. In the end, the foundation ensured the completion of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. However, the project was stopped due to the Russian aggression war in Ukraine. Schwesig also wants to dissolve the foundation.

The foundation causes problems

Even after its foundation, there were still problems with the foundation: records show that, for example, the future council convened by Schwesig had concerns. Additionally, Schwesig was unable to fill the foundation’s board of directors. Candidates have repeatedly rejected the state government – the important advisory board has yet to be named.

Commission of Inquiry in May

Starting in May, a state parliament inquiry committee will deal with the foundation’s background. It is already clear that the almost 1,000 pages presented from two files will not be enough for the committee. The gaps are just too big.

Further information

Erwin Sellering (SPD), the former Prime Minister of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and chairman of the new MV Climate and Environmental Protection Foundation, answers questions at a press conference.  © dpa-Bildfunk Photo: Jens Büttner

The controversial state foundation for climate protection is increasingly becoming a burden on the SPD-led state government in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. After

Cameras record a press conference by the MV Foundation for Climate and Environmental Protection.  © picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild, Jens Büttner

The chairman of the foundation’s board of directors, Erwin Sellering (SPD), had already announced the move on Monday. After

An existing part of the pipeline.  ©screenshot

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Schwerin: Manuela Schwesig (SPD), Prime Minister of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, goes to the annual meeting of the state government of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.  © Jens Büttner/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa Photo: Jens Büttner/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa

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NDR 1 Radio MV | News | 04/13/2022 | 7:00 p.m.

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