FRANKFURT, June 23 (Reuters) - Germany on Thursday triggered
the "alarm stage" of its emergency gas plan following a drop in
Russian supplies, but did not allow utilities to pass on soaring
costs to consumers for now.
Following are reactions from the government, industry and
GERMAN ECONOMY MINISTER ROBERT HABECK:
"Even if gas volumes can still be procured on the market and
are still being stored: The situation is serious and winter will
come. We must not fool ourselves: The cut in gas supplies is an
economic attack on us by (Russian President Vladimir) Putin. It
is obviously Putin's strategy to create insecurity, drive up
prices and divide us as a society This is what we are fighting
against. But it will be a rocky road that we must now take as a
country. Even if you don't feel it yet: we are in a gas crisis.
Gas is a scarce commodity from now on. Prices are already high
and we have to be prepared for further increases. This will
affect industrial production and become a big burden for many
consumers. It is an external shock."
WOLFGANG GROSSE ENTRUP, HEAD OF CHEMICALS INDUSTRY
"It is a logical step in order to react to the increasingly
serious supply situation and to stabilise the markets. This
applies equally to natural gas volumes and skyrocketing prices.
The Federal Government is acting responsibly and moving forward
step by step. The politically driven reduction of Russian gas
supplies poses ever more daunting challenges for society and
industry. The associated burdens must be fairly distributed. The
Federal Government is working hard on this in consultation with
those affected. The aim is to develop a transparent procedure
that distributes the unavoidable burdens as fairly and tolerably
as possible among all gas consumers."
E.ON, GERMANY'S LARGEST ENERGY FIRM:
"The declaration of the alarm stage does not change the
fundamental status quo for the time being. What is decisive is
that the Federal Government now creates the necessary framework
conditions for the scenario of a significant reduction in gas
import volumes in order to ensure the ability of the relevant
actors to act and to stabilise the markets and gas supply. In
view of the current reduction in Russian gas flows to Germany
and the associated uncertainties about future import volumes and
wholesale market effects, we consider the German government's
decision to declare an alert level to be understandable."
(Compiled by Christoph Steitz, Vera Eckert, Hans Seidenstuecker
Editing by Tomasz Janowski)