Reactions to the energy crisis
Energy worries in Germany are growing in the light of the faltering gas flow from Russia. Due to the war in Ukraine, President Steinmeier thinks "harder times" are possible in Germany and economists fear a severe recession in winter due to the energy crisis.
Jens Südekum, government advisor and professor of international economics at the Heinrich Hein University in Düsseldorf, for example, sees the declaration of the alarm level by Economics Minister Habeck as a clear sign that the situation on the gas market is threatening.
Many of our speakers and experts have spoken about the current situation in the media in recent days and shared their assessment.
In the debate on a secure energy supply, our speaker Clemens Fuest, for example, urges us to keep all options in mind and not to forego any option that could improve the energy supply. The Ifo President advocates supporting needy citizens should gas prices continue to rise. And he also sees the continued operation of German nuclear power plants as an option.
Lars Feld, another leading German economist, is also in favour of continuing to operate the remaining three nuclear power plants in Germany. Our speaker told Handelsblatt that it is not a matter of revising the nuclear phase-out, but of giving the energy industry a five-year perspective in view of the current situation.
The energy economist Claudia Kempfert, however, considers it unrealistic to extend the lifetime of nuclear power plants as a reaction to the energy crisis resulting from the war in Ukraine. After all, we don't have an electricity problem, but a heat problem, our speaker told RTL. Therefore, it would be better to talk about combined heat and power plants.
Meanwhile, our speaker Marcel Fratzscher expects inflation rates of up to ten percent in this country, should there be an embargo against Russian oil and gas. In his ZEIT column "Fratzschers Verteilungsfragen", the DIW president writes that politicians lack the courage to be honest, because the ecological transformation will only succeed with considerable sacrifices.
In an interview with the Merkur, economist Hans-Werner Sinn predicts difficult years ahead for Germany. However, he sees the blame for this not only in the Ukraine war.