Amazing news is coming from the Federal Ministry of Economics these days. Since the cost of the floating terminals for liquid gas have more than doubled. The rescue of the tumbling gas giant Uniper is now expected to cost taxpayers at least 50 billion.
And the "double winter aid", i.e. the advance of the electricity and gas price brake by two months to January 1st next year, is driving the amount of debt with which this subsidization of energy costs is financed to dizzying heights. After all, the state already takes over the December payment in full. The double relief comes against the advice of the expert commission and threatens to dampen the urgently needed savings pressure on consumption.
Economics Minister Robert Habeck is driven by the energy crisis. The acute shortage of gas caused by the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine has made bold government intervention unavoidable. But the Greens politician is moving from one ad hoc measure to the next.
Thanks to the ever new interventions, the economy has long since lost track. And so the companies gratefully accept all subsidies, but remain reluctant to invest in the future with all their might due to their uncertainty.
Because it is completely unclear where this economic policy is leading the country. There are only ambitious goals: for climate neutrality, the expansion of renewable energies, electrification or the nuclear phase-out. But there is no convincing strategy for Germany as a business location.
Especially in difficult times, reliable guidelines are needed. But Habeck is using the energy crisis to give the state an increasingly important role. Never before has a Federal Minister of Economics bent the rules of the market economy in such a way.
The extreme rise in prices for all energy sources is an expression of a shortage. It would be economically sensible to increase the supply as quickly as possible. Habeck does the opposite with nuclear power and coal. The Green also rejects fracking in Germany. And when it comes to LPG imports, the minister refuses to accept Qatar's or Canada's demand for longer-term supply contracts. Permanent subsidies in response to a self-inflicted shortage of supply are financially unsustainable and harm the competitiveness of the economy.
The expansion of renewables also remains far below the targets. In order to speed up the pace, Habeck is now thinking about state acceptance guarantees. However, the fact that the federal government is simultaneously threatening all electricity producers with an “excess profit tax” thwarts all expensive investment incentives. With Habeck's planned economy, it is not the energy crisis that will disappear from Germany, but prosperity.
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