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German envoy denies slight to Ma over energy analogy

TAIPEI--Germany's deputy representative to Taiwan has denied local media reports that he criticized President Ma Ying-jeou's administration over energy issues at a conference last week.

Mirko Kruppa, deputy director-general of the German Institute Taipei, told CNA in a recent interview that he did not criticize Ma and expressed regret that some media failed to catch his major points on energy issues.

He remarks came in response to reports in the Chinese-language Liberty Times and Storm Media that said Kruppa's remarks during a talk at a Taiwan Sustainability Summit in Taipei July 15, in which he said that comparing Germany's electricity rates with those of Taiwan is like “comparing apples and eggs,” was a “slap in the face to Ma,” who made the comparison.

Kruppa explained that 60 percent of the electricity costs in Germany are taxes, which is why electricity prices in his country are higher than those in Taiwan.

Taiwan offers subsidies to certain industries. If those subsidies were removed, Taiwan's electricity would not be so cheap, he added.

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