German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has welcomed a proposal to help citizens with the soaring cost of electricity and gas bills this winter, saying that Europe’s largest economy should be able to weather the cold months ahead.
The proposal by a special commission for a one-off payment to consumers followed by gas price cap next year were “a very, very good basis” on which to proceed, Scholz said.
Following the commission’s recommendations, it is now up to the government to decide whether to take them up.
Gas and electricity prices are reaching record levels in Europe as a consequence of the war in Ukraine and governments are seeking ways to help people and businesses who are struggling.
Scholz was talking on Tuesday to a conference of mechanical engineers, who said they were particularly badly affected by the current economic conditions.
“Us mechanical engineers are not only affected directly [by high energy prices], but also by the risky situation for our suppliers,” said Karl Haeusgen, the president of the association of mechanical engineers (VDMA).
Scholz reassured the gathering that with German gas storage facilities nearly full, and with construction starting on new liquefied natural gas facilities, Germany should be able to get through the winter. Some coal plants would carry on operating, as would two nuclear power stations next year, he added.
Courtesy © dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH www.dpa.com