Germans struggling to make ends meet – interviews
Germans, particularly retirees, are bearing the brunt of inflation, with some even having to cut back on food, according to interviews with Berliners on a Telegram channel.
Some in the German capital expressed strong criticism of the way Olaf Scholz’s cabinet is handling the situation and the extent to which the country is engaged in the Ukraine conflict.
According to the German government, year-on-year inflation was at 7.8% in May, with energy prices undergoing the sharpest increase since February.
The German media, citing experts, warned in May that food prices were likely to grow even higher in the coming months. The ‘Kanzlerdaddy’ Telegram channel took to the streets of Berlin to gauge public opinion.
One man complained that the German government was not “doing much for people here,” adding that while his own quality of life had not yet suffered, he is still dissatisfied with the leadership in Berlin. He levelled particularly harsh criticism at Economy Minister and Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck, whom he accused of disrupting gas and oil deliveries from Russia as well as shutting down nuclear power plants in Germany, and attempting to replace them with less-efficient wind turbines.
He also mentioned the government’s support of Ukraine and “warmongering against Russia,” adding that Germany had nothing to gain from its involvement.
“It’s gotten bad, frankly speaking,” another woman told the interviewer.
The hardest-hit group, according to her, is retirees.
The woman gave the example of an elderly neighbor in her apartment block, where residents are chipping in to help her buy food.
Following the start of Russia’s offensive in Ukraine and sanctions placed on Moscow by the West, food and energy prices have gone up in many parts of the world.