“A difficult year ends.” The German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, has started his New Year’s message with this phrase, focused on the war that Russia started against Ukraine in February. “No review of the year is complete without the images of February 24, when the first Russian missiles hit kyiv, Kharkiv, Odessa and other Ukrainian cities at dawn. Putin is waging an imperialist war of aggression, right in the middle of Europe, ”Scholz said in his message, the text of which was distributed in advance to the press.
“However, the history of the year 2022 is not only war, suffering and pain,” added the chancellor. It has been a year in which “cohesion and strength, and yes, also confidence” has been shown. The best example of this, according to Scholz, is the cohesion of the European Union and NATO, closer than they have been in a long time. “The war in Ukraine did not cause divisions in NATO and the EU, but brought them together like never before. Nor did Germany bow down when Russia closed the gas tap in the summer, because they are not going to blackmail us, ”he stressed.
Scholz also referred to Moscow’s miscalculations in the context of the Ukrainian war. Russian President Vladimir Putin believed that he could wage an offensive in a few days, but he has not achieved his goal. “Ukrainians bravely defended their homeland, also thanks to German help,” said Scholz, who vowed to continue supporting Ukraine.
“This turning point in time is a severe test,” he said, “and many people are worried about the war. We feel sorry for the Ukrainians, who even on days like today have no peace in the face of Russian bombs and missiles.” “And we all feel the consequences of this war in our daily lives as well: when shopping at the supermarket, at the gas station or paying the electricity or gas bill.” he added in reference to German concerns about the economic consequences of the war in Ukraine.
Germany is a “strong country”, stressed the Social Democratic leader. “A country that works energetically and quickly towards a good and secure future. A country that resists, especially in difficult times. A country where we leave no one behind, regardless of whether they live in the city or in the country, whether they are old or young, whether they are economically well off or less, whether they were born here or arrived later.” pointed.
The chancellor also recalled the measures against inflation and that the new tax relief for citizens will come into force this Sunday: the extension of the housing subsidy, the increase in benefits for dependent children, tax deductions worth 19,000 million euros and price caps for electricity, gas and district heating costs.
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“Our cohesion is our greatest asset”, concluded Scholz, “let’s continue together next year too”.
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