Germany agrees new package of more than 65 billion euros to alleviate energy crisis

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Sunday that Russia is not a “reliable energy supplier” after the government agreed to a new aid package of more than 65 billion euros to alleviate the energy crisis.

In this regard, the German chancellor stressed that “Putin’s Russia has not been fulfilling the contract” for supplies for some time now. “The trigger for this very difficult situation is Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” he said, adding that, in spite of everything, they will be able to overcome the winter.

“It’s about leading our country safely through this crisis,” Scholz has explained, adding that, in view of citizens’ concerns about rising electricity prices, they are taking the situation “seriously.”

Talks between the German Social Democratic Party (SPD), the Greens and the Free Democratic Party (FDP) kicked off this morning in the German capital, Berlin, and ended with a coalition agreement that will ease the pressure on German households.

Pensioners will receive on December 1 a one-time energy price support of 300 euros, which will be 200 euros for university students. There will also be a reduced price for a certain basic electricity consumption. For additional consumption above that value, the price will not be capped.

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The government also plans to introduce a new reduced subsidy for regional transport throughout the country, with a price ranging from 49 to 69 euros per month. The financing of this subsidy has yet to be approved by the regional governments.

The German government assured on Friday that the gas supply is fully guaranteed, despite a “tense” context that added a new chapter with the announcement of the indefinite shutdown of the ‘Nord Stream 1’ pipeline.

The Russian giant Gazprom announced that the shutdown, which in principle was to be temporary — for three days, until this Saturday — will be indefinite, after an oil leak was detected during maintenance work on the only turbine that was still active.

Gas reserves in Germany hover around 85 percent of total capacity. The German government had set by decree that at least this percentage had to be reached by October 1, so the target has been met a month ahead of schedule. However, the levels may fall again.

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On the other hand, Germany’s Development Minister Svenja Schulze announced Sunday a new humanitarian aid package to Kiev, valued at 200 million euros, with the aim of helping internally displaced persons in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“The bulk of our new aid, €200 million, will go to a Ukrainian government program to support internally displaced persons,” Schulze said, adding that this amount will serve “to ensure that displaced people in Ukraine can continue to meet their most basic needs.”

Schulze has indicated that he will speak with the Ukrainian prime minister, who is on an official visit to Berlin, to discuss in detail other aid for the displaced, whose most immediate needs are heating, clothing, housing and health care.

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