The main thing is to get away from Russian gas! That seems to be the major goal of Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck at the moment. In March, Habeck was therefore on a shopping tour in Qatar, and now the Emir is coming to Germany for a return visit. A bad compromise?

In March 2022, Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck will travel to the Emirate of Qatar. The declared goal is to get away from Russian gas. So a replacement is needed. In the ZDF talk show “Markus Lanz” on March 31, the minister and vice chancellor himself explains that gas deliveries from Qatar also have a negative connotation: “The belief is that we always do everything right in Germany and only if we are in travel to Qatar in exceptional circumstances and buy gas, then we do business with the devil, with Beelzebub”. But the small state on the Persian Gulf has not only been criticized in Germany since the beginning of this gas trade.

Qatar is like an “Exclusive Members Club”

Stern Middle East correspondent Jonas Breng is visiting the emirate just six months before the soccer World Cup. In episode 278 of the “Today Important” podcast, he reports on a society divided into two: “There are actually two Qatars, it’s a country full of contradictions. On the one hand, the hyper-rich mini-state, on the other hand, Qatar is an arch-conservative, absolutist monarchy without a separation of powers.” Just 2.5 million inhabitants live in the state, which is about the size of Schleswig-Holstein. But only 300,000 of them are Qatari citizens, the other 2.2 million are guest workers who are significantly worse off: “The Qataris themselves live as if they were in an exclusive members’ club. Most of them are doing very well economically, they pay nothing for electricity and water, have no problem finding a good job. And the toilets, the kitchen and all the rest are taken care of by workers from other countries like Bangladesh, Nepal or India,” says Jonas Breng.

Criticism has not only come since the World Cup

Despite all the criticism, Germany is dependent on Qatari gas. On Friday, 41-year-old Emir Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani will visit Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Is Qatar really the bad guy now? stern-Naeast-Korrespondent is quite divided, he says in an interview with “Today Important”: “Qatar is not an unproblematic state, especially from a western point of view. But you can by no means compare it with countries like Russia, or even China, with Germany also maintains close economic ties.” Because Germany is dependent on the raw materials in any case.

Your subscription to “important today”

Don’t miss an episode of “Today’s Important” by subscribing to our podcast on: Audio Now, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Deezer, Castbox or your favorite podcast app. If you have any questions or suggestions, please write to us at