The country’s Prime Minister Olaf Scholz said in a statement on Saturday that Germany and Europe were ready to deal with the fallout should Russia decide to stop supplying gas altogether.
Germany is prepared “for Russia to cut off most of its gas supplies because of the war against Ukraine,” Scholz said, adding that his country has set up terminals on Germany’s north coast for imports. liquid gas.
However, the chancellor’s claim that the country was prepared was disputed by the Association of German Towns and Cities, which represents about 14,000 cities and towns across the country, as well as by the organization economic organization DIW.
Europe’s largest economy is at the center of the continent’s energy crisis as Russian President Vladimir Putin cut supplies in retaliation for sanctions related to the war in Ukraine. Concerns are growing that Germany could face a wave of bankruptcy as a result of the crisis.
“We saved gas. Again we are using the production capacity of coal-fired power plants. At the beginning of next year we will have the opportunity to use the remaining nuclear power plants in southern Germany if that is necessary,” said the chancellor.
However, the government’s commitment to power was called into question on Saturday, when the president of the Association of Towns and Cities said the country was at risk of an energy crisis.
Gerd Landsberg, the association’s president, told Welt am Sonntag newspaper: “A hacker attack and/or overload of the power grid” could cause serious power outages. “Overcrowding could happen if too many households plug in electric heaters instead of gas heaters,” he said.
According to the newspaper, Germany has acknowledged that the situation is serious, but is still not fully prepared.
Marcel Fratzscher, president of the German consultancy DIW, told RND media on Saturday that he expects the recession in Germany to be prolonged.
“Recession is inevitable, we’re in a recession,” said Fratzscher, adding that he is concerned the economy won’t recover quickly and will instead shrink in 2023. 2024 won’t be such a good year either,” the economist said, warning Germany risked facing stagnant inflation for several years.
Fratzscher predicts that “many companies will go bankrupt” because the government cannot save them all. He suggested the government limit energy costs and offered help for the transition.
Earlier this week, the German government was dealt a blow to its plan to keep some nuclear power plants online as a backup source. Plan, disclosure by Economy Minister Robert Habeck, was rejected by one of Germany’s nuclear power plant operators, speak it is “technically impracticable and therefore unsuitable as a means of securing the supply share of these factories.”
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