German coal mine plan prompts government spat

A plan by energy firm RAG to open Germany's first new coal mine for thirty years has prompted yet more tensions in the country's ruling red-green coalition. Social Democratic economics minister Wolfgang Clement hailed the plan on Thursday as a sign of coal's "renaissance" in Germany and insisted, according to news agency Reuters, that the fuel would continue to be a crucial energy source. Mr Clement was responding to criticism from the Green party that the mine, in North-Rhine Westphalia, would not be economically viable. See Reuters article and Greens press release.

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