Robert Habeck: State Secretary Patrick Graichen can remain in office despite mistakes

felt allegations
Habeck speaks to committees: “State Secretary Graichen does not have to go because of this mistake”

Robert Habeck after the joint committee meeting in front of media representatives.

© Kay Nietfeld / DPA

One of Robert Habeck’s top associates was involved in awarding a top post to his own groomsmen. This brought sharp criticism to both him and the Minister for Economic Affairs. Now the two have spoken out.

Robert Habeck (Greens) does not want to dismiss his State Secretary Patrick Graichen because of his misconduct in filling an important position. “I have decided that Patrick Graichen does not have to go because of this mistake,” said the Federal Minister of Economics after his questioning at a joint meeting of the Committees for Economics and Climate Protection and Energy. “And the debate in the committee gives me, I think, a certain hope that the differentiation will also make this decision more understandable,” Habeck continued.

Best man von Graichen got the job

The background is the selection of a new managing director for the federal German Energy Agency (Dena), in which Graichen was involved. In the end, the choice fell on his best man, Michael Schäfer. Both Graichen and Habeck now speak of a mistake. The procedure for selecting personnel is to be rolled out again.

The specifications of the Ministry of Economics were “recognisably violated,” said Habeck. “In this respect, there is also an examination of the extent to which civil service law is affected.” Together with Graichen, the Green politician answered questions from the members of the committees for economics and climate protection and energy behind closed doors – a public survey did not get a majority.

Criticism of the personnel now comes from the CDU politician Julia Klöckner: “Graichen is actually unstoppable,” she said. The case is about fundamentals, according to the economic policy spokeswoman for the CDU/CSU parliamentary group. It remains to be clarified whether there was excessive external influence on the ministry’s policy.

Personnel ties in the Ministry of Economics

There is also criticism of further personal ties in the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Graichen’s sister, married to his colleague Michael Kellner, works like her brother at the Öko-Institut – a research institute that receives orders from the federal government. The ministry emphasizes that Kellner and Graichen were not involved in tenders for which the Öko-Institut could have applied.

Klöckner explained that there were many questions about the plans to replace the heating system. “The calculations are questioned by experts and it’s not possible to question that because this community is constantly giving itself any reports.”

Klöckner said they wanted to find out details about Schäfer’s selection – for example, it was about whether Graichen had spoken to his best man in front of other members of the selection committee.


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