Police detain protester who tried to interrupt Scholz's speech
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The German Chancellor’s popularity is slumping, falling to its lowest ratings since taking office in December. Around two-thirds of Germans say they are dissatisfied with Mr Scholz and his coalition, according to a survey conducted by INSA polling institute for the Bild am Sonntag newspaper, published on Sunday.
The German leader was booed and insulted last week in the eastern German town of Neuruppin where he addressed a civic meeting on the cost of living crippling the country.
Some 300 300 protesters had gathered to heckle Mr Scholz, driven by the far-right party Alternative for Germany and the socialist Left Party.
Some held signs urging the Chancellor to resign.
Others chanted “traitor to the people”, “liar” and “get out”.
Now intelligence officials are warning the Chancellor should ready himself for an “autumn of rage”.
According to The Times, intelligence officials are concerned that extremists on both the left and the right will try to unite and mobilise into a broad uprising against the system, especially in east Germany.
Stephan Kramer, president of the Thuringian State Office for the Protection of the Constitution (LfV), an eastern branch of Germany’s domestic intelligence service, described the mood as “explosive”.
He told The Times: “Right now we have a very particular cluster of forces this autumn. We have a population that is very, very tense after the pandemic, who still have a lot of rage in their bellies.
“The resilience, the ability to protect yourself against crises, is wearing very thin.
“We’re talking about people in cold flats over the winter.
“We’re talking about firms going bust because they don’t have enough energy anymore, leading to unemployment and poverty.
“We’re talking about inflation, which is hitting a great number of people all the way up into the middle classes.
“Poverty isn’t just affecting groups on the margins of society, which is bad enough in itself, but working its way up into the middle of society.
“That’s a big problem.”
He continued: “Precisely this confluence of all these stress factors makes people feel extremely insecure, and in some cases, they’re afraid for their very existence. It’s not just that they’re very upset and angry – that’s all legitimate – but they are also very vulnerable prey for extremists who may offer them answers that ultimately are not real answers, but do incite them to extremism.”
It comes as Mr Scholz also failed to secure an energy deal with Canada this week as he hoped a democratic G7 ally would one day ship his country liquefied natural gas to replace Russian gas imports.
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Environmental and regulatory hurdles to gas pipeline construction are a stumbling block to new LNG terminals on Canada’s Atlantic coast, and support for the idea in Ottawa has been cooling. As recently as May, Canada said it was in talks with two companies to possibly accelerate LNG projects there that ship could gas to Europe within a few years.
Those projects involved Repsol, which could possibly retool an LNG intake facility in New Brunswick, and Pieridae Energy which had proposed the Goldboro LNG facility in Nova Scotia.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government is now publicly questioning whether those terminals can be profitable and built fast enough to make a difference to Europe’s long-term supply difficulties.
Days before Mr Scholz arrived, Canadian Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson told Reuters the government now thought the best solution was to export hydrogen, not LNG.
Mr Trudeau reinforced that message during a joint press conference with Mr Scholz on Monday, saying “there has never been a strong business case” for LNG terminals on the east coast.
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Germany wants to wean itself off Russian gas by 2024. It would take at least that long for new Canadian LNG terminals to come online, largely because of the need for expanded pipeline capacity to get western Canadian gas to the east coast.
Building new pipelines in Canada and the United States has proved difficult due to fierce environmental opposition and high regulatory hurdles. TC Energy’s Energy East and Keystone XL oil pipeline projects were both cancelled after years of delays.
The gas pipeline network, operated by TC Energy and Enbridge Inc, runs through the northeastern United States to reach Canada’s east coast, with the TC Energy section already operating at capacity.
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