Parents’ Meeting on the Future of PCK Refinery: Built Between Courage and Anger

Population meeting on PCK

Schweedter Between Courage and Anger


Video: rbb24 Brandenburg News | 04.05.2022 | Hanu Christ | picture: rbb

Shwete residents discuss the future of PCK refinery after Russia’s oil embargo. A prominent politician from Berlin attended a meeting – but not everyone was satisfied with the promises made by the federal government.

Bad mood at residents meeting in Schwedt: Several residents debated in the Citizens Hall of the city parliament on Wednesday and expressed concerns about the future of the PCK refinery after the federal government changed its stance and is now campaigning for an import ban on Russian oil. The locals present spoke out clearly against the planned oil embargo.

Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck and Secretary of State Michael Kellner (both Greens) have promised PCK employees in the past few days that the federal government will protect them.

The Druzhba oil pipeline, through which oil flows only from Russia, ends in Schwedt. Local politicians from Schwedt also expressed concern about the rally, but wanted to give some credibility to the government. However, many residents were not satisfied.

Concerns among local residents and politicians

“He’s giving a lot of heart and soul to me if everything is going to go down the drain here. I’m against the oil embargo,” Ingrid Ball said. “I’m so worried, I can’t sleep at night. What if PCK stops?”

Mirko Şençki, leader of the SPD parliamentary group in Schwedt, had similar concerns, and himself was educated in the PKK. “I don’t even want to imagine what that means for the whole region. Today, gas prices are up another ten percent. We’ll see gasoline prices easily three euros.”

Seeking alternative deliveries

Minister of State Carsten Schneider, the representative of the Federal Government for Eastern Europe, was expected to appear on Wednesday. He came straight from the closed session of the federal government in Schloss Messberg in North Brandenburg with good news for Schwedt: Yes, there should be an oil embargo, but not immediately.

Schneider explained that they are looking at alternative deliveries to the plant. “However, not with Russian oil, but with oil from other sources, and the Ministry of Economy is now not only talking about this, but also orders or measures are being implemented to ensure that capacity is utilized at least so that Schwedt can be operated economically.”

According to the European Commission’s plans, the oil embargo should not be completed until the end of the year. At Messberg Castle, Federal Economy Minister Robert Habeck promised to preserve the Schwedt site. The change of ownership is discussed repeatedly, because the Russian state-owned company Rosneft controls the refinery, which guarantees about 90 percent of the supply of gasoline, kerosene, diesel and heating oil in Berlin and Brandenburg.

Everything “Hot Potato”

“We are not ready for a ban,” said Uwe Neumann, a resident of Schwedt. “But of course we want to have a solution. Mr. Schneider announced a solution.” But there will also be difficulties that Schneider is not yet willing to comment on. “Because it’s all hot potatoes.” But according to Neumann, it is right to deal with these questions.

Likewise, the Left Party sees it. “If he sticks to his promise, that’s fine. It will be very important in order to get 1,200 jobs – a lot of families are involved,” said Heike Heise-Hyland, chair of the parliamentary group in Schwedt’s city parliament. In addition, there are outsourcing companies on the PCK website that employ another 2,000 employees, according to the politician.

Courage and Fury were very close at Schwett on Wednesday. With promises from the federal government, there was little hope of keeping jobs – under any PCK owner -. But as it turned out yesterday, a lot of people from Schweedter were still somewhat skeptical at first.

Broadcast: rbb24 Brandenburg Aktuell, May 4, 2022, 7:30 p.m.

With articles written by Hanu Messiah

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