The German government has agreed massive financial aid of €65 billion to ease the inflationary pressure households are facing as the electricity supply crisis continues to tighten its grip on the Union European Union, AFP reported on Sunday, citing a policy document. .
“Timely and proportionate relief for citizens and businesses is needed due to the growing burden of high energy prices,” the country’s coalition partners said in the document, adding that the total package amounted to “more than 65 billion euros”.
The measures would include a €300 one-off payment to millions of German pensioners, as well as a smaller €200 one-off payment and payment for heating costs for those receiving housing benefit.
The latest step follows two previous relief packages, totaling 30 billion euros, involving a cut in petrol tax as well as heavily subsidized public transport ticket pricing.
Germany, which relies heavily on Russian energy imports to meet its needs, has seen energy prices soar as natural gas supplies from Russia have been drastically reduced in recent months. .
Nord Stream 1, the main natural gas route from Russia to Germany, had been operating at reduced capacity since July due to the shutdown of several gas turbines. Some of them were sent to Montreal for repairs and were stuck there because of Canadian sanctions against Moscow over the Russian military operation in Ukraine. At Germany’s request, Ottawa announced an exemption for the turbines in July, returning one, but Gazprom refused to take delivery, citing documentation irregularities.
The Russian company cited faulty or delayed equipment as the main reason for the 80% reduction in gas deliveries through the pipeline. Earlier this week, Moscow said only sanctions were preventing Nord Stream 1 from operating at full capacity. Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller had also warned that sanctions could prevent Siemens Energy from carrying out regular maintenance of pipeline equipment.
In August, German inflation reached 7.9%. Soaring energy prices are expected to push it up around 10% in Germany and the eurozone by the end of 2022, the highest in decades.
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