German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the government's policy of phasing out nuclear power plants was ``wrong'' and should be reversed.
``I think it's wrong to shut down nuclear plants that are among the safest in the world,'' Merkel said today in a speech to an economic conference of her Christian Democratic Union in Berlin. ``Whenever it's possible, and I'm still hoping that some may realize this, this policy must be corrected.''
Germany is committed to closing down its nuclear power plants by about 2021 under an agreement reached by the previous coalition government of then Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats and the Green Party.
While Merkel's coalition of Christian Democrats and Social Democrats agreed in 2005 to continue the policy, both parties are seeking to set out their differences before the next national election in September next year.
``We in Germany must conduct a prudent energy policy,'' Merkel said. ``What we are doing at the moment is eroding the diversity of energy production rather than taking steps to expand it. I believe that's the wrong course.''
It's not in the interests of Germany, Europe's biggest economy, ``if we have to buy nuclear energy from France and Finland only because we've switched off our own plants,'' Merkel said.