GERMANY: To lessen the prospect of rising energy prices as Europe struggles with limited supplies in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Germany has unveiled a €65 billion (£56.2 billion) package of measures.
The package, which is substantially more significant than the two before it, will include one-time payments to the most vulnerable people and tax benefits for companies that use a lot of energy.
Since the invasion in February, energy costs have skyrocketed, and Europe is attempting to wean itself off Russian energy.
Ukraine urges Europe to stand firm
Russia is attempting to disrupt every European citizen’s ability to lead an everyday life, according to President Volodymyr Zelensky.
On Saturday, he stated in his nightly speech that Russia was preparing a “decisive energy attack on all Europeans” and that only cooperation among European nations would provide safety.
Olena, Zelenskyy’s wife, asserted that the crisis would end sooner if there were significant support for Ukraine. While growing living expenses were difficult, she emphasized to Britons that Ukrainians were paying with their lives.
Politico reports that officials from the European Union have cautioned that there would likely be a breaking point in the coming months when nations begin to experience severe economic suffering while still being urged to support the military and humanitarian operation in Ukraine
There are already hints of unhappiness, with demonstrators marching to the streets of Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, on Sunday to demonstrate against rising energy prices and demand the lifting of sanctions against Russia.
According to police, there were roughly 70,000 attendees, primarily from far-right and far-left organizations.
Meanwhile, several hundred demonstrators gathered in Lubmin, the Russian gas pipeline’s terminal in northeastern Germany.
They demanded that Nord Stream 2, a new pipeline that was set to be put into operation but was stopped by the German government during the invasion, be put into service.
Russia suspends gas exports to Germany
Two days ago, Russia suspended gas exports to Germany through the already operating Nord Stream 1 pipeline indefinitely.
Germany’s stores had gotten more filled since June, when they were less than half full due to the standoff with Russia, and are now 84% full.
Olaf Scholz, the chancellor of Germany, assured reporters that his country would survive the winter but said that Russia was “no longer a reliable energy partner.”
He declared that the government would give one-time payments to students, retirees, and welfare recipients. There would also be caps on energy bills.
A total of €1.7 billion in tax benefits would be given to about 9,000 energy-intensive firms.
The most recent package takes the entire amount spent on energy crisis relief to about €100 billion. This contrasts with the almost €300 billion spent on interventions to maintain the German economy during the COVID-19 epidemic.
Nations are considering similar measures around Europe.
If Liz Truss wins the UK Tory leadership election on Tuesday, she promises to announce a strategy to cope with energy costs within a week.
On September 9, the EU’s energy ministers are scheduled to discuss ways to reduce the burden of high energy costs throughout the Union.
Gas price ceilings and emergency liquidity support for energy market participants are on the agenda, according to a document that was made public regarding the conference, according to the Reuters news agency.