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Germany: Ports industry reminds federal government of its financial responsibility for ports

The ports industry has reminded Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) of the federal government’s financial responsibility for the rapid expansion of German seaports. “At the National Maritime Conference, the Chancellor made it clear how important the seaports in particular are and that they have been politically neglected in recent years,” said Angela Titzrath, President of the industry association ZDS, in Hamburg on Wednesday. At the conference in Bremen two months ago, Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck (Greens) also emphasized the importance of ports in achieving climate protection targets and the expansion of renewable energies. The national port strategy announced by Scholz for this year must be measured against this, said Titzrath.

The port manager called it “significant” that there is a debate about the financing of the seaports. “The federal government must accept its responsibility – as announced in the coalition agreement and at the conference,” demanded the President of the Central Association of German Seaport Operators (ZDS). “To this end, a quick agreement on port load balancing is essential. If this minimum target is not achieved, it is hard to imagine how a national port strategy can meet expectations.”

Prior to the conference in Bremen, the coastal states and the port industry had called for a “turnaround” in the financing of seaports. Around 400 million euros a year are needed for the infrastructure in the ports alone, which falls under the responsibility of the federal states. The demand is based on increased costs. These have increased around tenfold since 2005. Since then, the federal government has been paying 38.3 million euros a year to the federal states.

In Bremen, Scholz had assured: “The federal government is clearly committed to its share of responsibility for efficient and future-proof ports with the necessary port infrastructure.” He said he was aware that, from the perspective of the federal states, this also included an increase in financial resources. “I know it,” Scholz had said, but without giving any concrete assurances.
Source: dpa-AFX

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