Economics Minister Robert Habeck questions the gas levy

Robert Habeck

The Federal Minister of Economics puts the gas levy to the test.

(Photo: dpa)

Berlin According to Handelsblatt information, the controversial gas levy to support large gas importers is in view of a possible nationalization of the ailing supplier Uniper on the test bench. Economy Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) also has, according to information from the German Press Agency, “constitutional financial doubts”. Habeck is also said to have indicated that the financing requirements for the gas suppliers are significantly higher than when the first rescue package was negotiated Uniper.

It is becoming increasingly clear that the unstable situation needs “the power and the guarantee of the state as well as all the financial strength of the state” that is necessary, according to dpa information on Tuesday. However, the Federal Ministry of Finance is responsible for the final examination and responsibility for the financial constitutional law. The ARD capital office had previously reported on it.

The Reuters news agency reports that a further reform of the Energy Security Act (Ensig) is therefore being coordinated in the government and should be decided by the cabinet by the end of September. Reuters learned this on Tuesday from industry and parliamentary representatives. As a prerequisite, a market share of at least one percent should apply and companies that made profits should be excluded. Recipients of the surcharge would also have to accept restrictions on manager remuneration. In essence, only Uniper, VNG or those under trust would then exist Gazprom– Daughters benefit.

The Ministry of Economy did not comment on the details of the draft. However, it confirmed that he would shortly be going into coordination between the departments.

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When asked by the dpa, a ministry spokeswoman said, of course, “one must also keep an eye on how the emerging need for stabilization of systemically important companies is affecting the gas market, what questions it raises and what answers are necessary”. She pointed out that adjustments were currently being made to the planned gas surcharge and that the group of companies eligible to apply was being reduced in such a way that free riders were not included. In addition, legal aid issues would be clarified.

Gas surcharge: The group of eligible companies should be restricted

The gas surcharge is intended to support gas importers who get into trouble because of the high purchase prices for Russian gas. The surcharge for all gas users is currently set at around 2.4 cents per kilowatt hour. According to the current status, the first advance payments should be due at the end of October. The levy is to be introduced on October 1 of this year. Habeck tries to limit the group of eligible companies so that only companies that are really in need benefit.

Uniper got into trouble because Russia practically no more gas Germany pumps, but Uniper has to fulfill its long-term contracts and buys the missing gas expensively on the market. The situation of Germany’s most important gas importer has worsened as a result of the renewed closure of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline.

According to the company, a stronger commitment from the federal government is under discussion. Among other things, the parties involved examined “a direct capital increase that would lead to a significant majority stake by the federal government in Uniper,” Uniper recently announced. In July, the federal government, the group and its Finnish mother had fort agreed on a billion-euro rescue package, which also provides for the involvement of the federal government.

More: “Worst-case scenario” has occurred – the federal government is examining the complete takeover of Uniper

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