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Opposition Attacks German Minister's Energy Plans

Feb 4, 2013
(Reuters)

The head of Germany's opposition Social Democrats (SPD) criticized government plans to cap power price rises for consumers but signaled on Saturday he was open to talks.

Conservative environment minister Peter Altmaier last week outlined proposals to spread the cost of Germany's switch to renewables away from nuclear power between households and industry before September's election.

However, it was unclear whether the proposals will become reality due to resistance within Chancellor Angela Merkel's centre-right coalition and also from opposition parties who could block any law in the Bundesrat upper house.

In a sign that the plans could face major obstacles, SPD leader Sigmar Gabriel told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper his party also wanted to reduce the burden on consumers but that he disagreed with Altmaier's ideas.