Parts of German industry could be shut down due to natural gas shortages due to lower gas supplies from Russia. German Economic Affairs Minister Robert Habeck warned about this in the magazine Der Spiegel.
Berlin said on Thursday that the alarm phase has entered for the gas crisis and that shortages are looming if stocks cannot be replenished sufficiently before the winter.
Habeck told Der Spiegel that gas shortages will force companies to shut down production, lay off workers and make people poorer as a result. According to the minister, this is a strategy of Russian President Vladimir Putin to sow division in Germany.
He argues that this creates a breeding ground for populism in order to undermine German democracy from within. Habeck stated that Putin’s plans should not be made possible. Germany has already said that Moscow is using gas as a weapon because of German support for Ukraine in the war with Russia.
In Germany, the second phase of the emergency plan for the gas crisis has now started. In the third phase, the government can intervene directly in the distribution of gas in the country.
The head of the German utility agency said Russia may turn off the gas tap completely and energy prices could rise further. He stated that people and companies should limit the use of gas as much as possible, for example by heating less and taking shorter showers.
According to the newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, German Finance Minister Christian Lindner is working on billions in aid for energy-consuming industrial sectors over the next two years. He would like to offer aid worth 2.9 billion euros in 2023 and 2024. In April, it was also reported that the German government would come up with multi-billion dollar aid for companies that are suffering from the consequences of the war in Ukraine.