The economic stabilization fund is to be filled with 200 billion euros. More and more money is being given away alongside the regular budget. Can this be good in the long run?
In this case, the solution is to be welcomed. The pressure has increased extremely in the past few weeks and days. More and more consumers and companies are getting the high prices, it’s more than a fivefold increase in prices. That was to be expected when you looked at the wholesale prices. So a solution was needed. The filling of the special fund gives the scope for action.
So you think the amount is reasonable?
The sum is high, but you have to put this in the context that it is about households and companies and that the gas crisis will last until at least spring 2024. It is important to take this into account now, because the funds are likely to be limited in 2023 due to the reinstated control limits of the debt brake.
Wouldn’t it be more honest to increase new borrowing and suspend the debt brake?
We couldn’t agree on that. Against the background that an agreement was urgently needed, this compromise is correct. There is enough room for maneuver to seriously address the problem.
The gas price commission, which you chair, is now to make a proposal as to how the gas price should be curbed and how the 200 billion euros should be used. What can end customers expect now?
It will now be important to find an instrument that meets a number of requirements. It has to be little bureaucratic and quick to implement. In addition, the solution must be fair and provide strong incentives to save gas. It should help for the communication of the measures and their acceptance if the various groups represented in the Commission can contribute their perspectives.
What mistake shouldn’t be made with the gas price brake?
Incentives to save gas must have top priority. If there is a shortage of gas, everyone loses, whether with or without a gas price brake.
The gas surcharge is to be abolished – gas importers are to be supported directly. Is this the right move?
Yes, that’s the right way.