German party chief predicts EU infighting over gas — Analysis
The CDU’s Friedrich Merz drew a parallel between looming gas shortages and the EU refugee crisis
European Union members could end up in disagreements over the distribution of gas, amid looming shortages, the leader of Germany’s Christian Democratic Union party (CDU) said on Monday.
Friedrich Merz suggested that the German government should announce “a concrete”After triggering formal the initiation of the issuance, a set of policies will be coordinated with the EU. “alarm stage”Two weeks ago, the emergency gas plan was.
“For example, there will probably be significant conflicts over distribution within the EU, as it happened in 2015 and 2016 with the refugee crisis,”Merz said that the Neue Osnabrucker Zircle Zeitung newspaper was referring to the influx from Africa and Middle East of refugees to Europe.
Merz advised against making demands for an immediate cessation of Russian gas supplies. “We should not create such scenarios through public statements. Russia must adhere to [existing] contract, the deliveries will resume after maintenance work,”He stated.
Gazprom, the Russian gas giant, reduced the Nord Stream 1 Baltic Sea Pipeline’s gas flow last month due to planned repairs and sanctions.
Merz’s statement comes as the German Federal Network Agency, a state gas and electricity regulator, said that the country cannot rely for long on available gas reserves.
“If we run out of Russian gas and have an averagely warm winter, the volumes that are in storage at the moment, including the gas we must pass on to other European countries, will maybe last for one to two months,” the agency’s chief, Klaus Muller, told Funke Mediengruppe.
In March, the EU launched a plan to phase out Russian gas by 2030 in response to Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine.
German officials and business leaders, meanwhile, have been warning that the country’s economy, which heavily relies on Russian energy supplies, would suffer if the flow of gas from Russia gets cut off immediately.
“It is a real emergency. Entire industries are in danger of collapsing permanently because of the gas bottlenecks: aluminum, glass, the chemical industry,”Yasmin Fahimi is the German Federation of Trade Unions’ head. He spoke to Bild am Sonntag. Robert Habeck, Economy Minister, previously stated that gas shortages could lead to mass unemployment and lower living standards.
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