FRANKFURT, June 23 (Reuters) - Germany on Thursday triggered
the "alarm stage" of its emergency gas plan following a drop in
Russian supplies, but for now will not permit utilities to pass
on soaring costs to consumers.
Following are comments from the government, companies, and
ROBERT HABECK, GERMAN ECONOMY MINISTER:
"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 ... 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."
"The measures adopted by the government as part of the Gas
Emergency Plan are primarily intended to prevent a gas shortage
in autumn and winter."
"This step has no impact on the supply of household
customers and companies at this time."
"One measure to save gas is the increased use of coal-fired
power plants for power generation."
VDMA ENGINEERING ASSOCIATION MANAGING DIRECTOR THILO
"The danger is real that we are heading towards an
under-supply and therefore a rationing regime."
BGA WHOLESALE, FOREIGN TRADE ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT DIRK
"For wholesale and foreign trade companies, it is important
that the government prepares strategically and carefully for
sovereign measures such as shutdowns. The burden of possible gas
rationing must be borne jointly by all actors."
UNIPER CEO KLAUS-DIETER MAUBACH
"This is not a solution for this winter if the supply
situation remains as it is or continues to worsen over the
"The gas storage levels are a 'thermometer' for Germany's
supply security. If this shows that it is not possible to
replenish the gas storage facilities by October as required by
law, further steps will be immediately and urgently needed."
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."
KERSTIN ANDREAE, MANAGING DIRECTOR OF GERMAN ASSOCIATION OF
ENERGY AND WATER INDUSTRIES (BDEW)
"It was right to declare the alert level. Currently, the
supply is guaranteed, but we must turn our attention to the
coming winter ... The German government has called on citizens
and industry to save energy today wherever possible. The more
gas that is saved today, the more we can use to fill storage
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 sky-rocketing 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."
(Compiled by Christoph Steitz, Vera Eckert, Hans
Seidenstuecker; Editing by Jason Neely and Bernadette Baum)