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19 Jan, 2024 11:11

Cheap gas isn’t coming back – ex-German FM

The more expensive alternatives to Russian supplies have driven the country’s energy costs up
Cheap gas isn’t coming back – ex-German FM

Germany has been hit hard economically over the past two years, including by the loss of cheap energy, former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer admitted in an interview with Augsburger Allgemeine released on Friday.  

A deeper than expected slump in Germany’s industrial production has affected most industries over the past two years due to shortages of raw materials and energy, for which prices have surged.   

“We are in a situation in which we have a huge problem economically, technologically and in terms of security policy. The cheap Russian gas is gone and isn’t coming back. The large Chinese export market has transformed from an opportunity into a threat,” Fischer explained in the interview.  

The EU’s top economy benefited from cheap Russian energy for over two decades. It relied on the sanctioned country for 40% of its gas imports before 2022, making it among the hardest hit by the supply reduction.  Given its previous reliance on Russian gas and the importance of cheap energy for its industry-heavy economy, Germany stands out among EU countries in facing particularly acute difficulties.   

Earlier this week, Vice-Chancellor and Economy Minister Robert Habeck warned that the German economy had lost its competitive advantage after abandoning Russian gas supplies.   

Recent statistics showed that Germany is overpaying for current natural gas supplies due to still-elevated prices even though the country has more than halved imports of pipeline gas.

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