Traffic light coalition will overturn gas levy: gas price brake should come

Die controversial gas surcharge should tip at the latest by tomorrow, Wednesday, in the Federal Cabinet. As the FAZ learned on Tuesday from traffic light groups and the energy industry, the negotiations have entered the decisive phase. The decision may also be made today, on Tuesday evening. It is crucial that one can agree on an alternative to the levy. It is “about a solution that also includes the handling of the relief needs,” it said.

In fact, the end of the surcharge is being negotiated in connection with a gas price brake. In the traffic light coalition, the Free Democrats are pushing for the energy supply to be lowered first before talking about a price cap and state support. The SPD and the Greens in particular want the latter. Statements by the FDP leader and Federal Minister of Finance Christian Lindner and the parliamentary group leader Christian Dürr on Tuesday point to a political barter: before state intervention, the nuclear and coal-fired power plants should continue to generate electricity, and in the gas industry it should be considered to release parts of the reserves bought by the federal government.

On the occasion of the European Economic Conference of the FAZ in Berlin, Lindner told the FAZ podcast that, in addition to a coordinated European approach, national efforts must also be expected, “such as the extension of nuclear energy and economic measures such as the resumption of sales of those stored by the state gas quantities”. The federal government has bought and stored large quantities of natural gas via the Trading Hub Europe (THE) company, and the German storage facilities are more than 90 percent full. These quantities “have to be returned to the market, which reduces the shortage,” demanded Lindner.

He commented in connection with the gas surcharge, a surcharge on the working price for private and commercial customers, which the Ministry of Economic Affairs of Robert Habeck (Greens) to save ailing importers like Uniper. However, since the group is now being nationalized, the surcharge should be abolished shortly after it officially comes into force next Saturday. The first advance payments to Uniper and other importers such as VNG and Sefe are scheduled for the end of the month.

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