As Europe continues to consider a ban on Russian energy exports, German business and unions are joining forces in opposition, warning that an immediate Russian natural gas ban would have a severe negative impact on industry and jobs.
Germany boasts the largest economy in the 27-nation European Union and resisted a ban on Russian energy imports, opting instead for a strategy that would seek to gradually phase out Russian oil by year-end 2022 and Russian gas imports within two years.
“I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army—your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords.” Ez. 38:3-4 NIV
“A rapid gas embargo would lead to loss of production, shutdowns, a further de-industrialization and the long-term loss of work positions in Germany,” AP quoted the chairmen of the BDA employer’s group and the DGB trade union confederation as saying Monday.
Some 40% of the European Union’s natural gas and some 25% of its oil now comes from Russia, mostly through pipelines.
Germany alone depends on Russia for approximately one-third of its total energy consumption.
Last week, the German government approved its biggest pension hike in decades at a time when inflation is expected to skyrocket, already hitting a 40-year high. Beginning on July 1st, pensions for former West German states will increase by 5.35%.
While Germany’s employers and unions are on edge over the potential for an “immediate” ban on Russian oil and natural gas, the bloc is still starkly divided on the issue.