Businesses indicated that electricity costs were becoming unsustainable. Industrialists warned that this could lead to a reduction in production and an increase in unemployment
Industry in Austria needs urgent government assistance, including subsidies due to a sharp rise in gas and electricity prices, Georg Knill, president of the Austrian Federation of Industry, said, reports Kronen Zeitung .
According to Knill, the current situation— “more than dramatic” due to a tenfold increase in gas prices and a sixfold— for electricity within one year.
“There is a risk of reduced production and unemployment in Austria unless prompt and consistent countermeasures are taken,”— said the president of the federation.
The industrialists have come up with several measures they think will help them stay afloat. Among them— an increase in the subsidy promised by the authorities, which would compensate for the increased expenses of companies, to €2.5 billion and its extension for the next year. At the same time, Knill emphasized that energy price compensation should be carried out continuously. In addition, businesses need additional support in the area of procurement and energy conservation.
“For example, a medium-sized industrial enterprise with [typical] energy costs of about one million euros a year is now facing the challenge of raising twelve million euros to pay for the required energy next year— at some point it just becomes impossible, — Knill said.
Last week, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer urged the EU to take a decision to limit electricity tariffs. “We must finally stop this madness that is happening in the energy markets right now. And this can only be done with the help of a European solution,»,— he said. The chancellor said that the electricity tariff should be separated from gas prices and equated with the actual cost of generation.
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The Czech Republic, in turn, will convene a meeting at which EU energy ministers will try to find a solution to the problem of rising prices in the energy market. “Rising energy prices indicate a clear market failure. <…> All experts agree that if we want to find a solution, it must be agreed upon at the European level,— explained Prime Minister Petr Fiala.
September 3, a rally was held in Prague demanding the resignation of the government. The participants demanded to ensure gas supplies at low prices, “that is, primarily from the Russian Federation”, to change the system of payment for electricity, to declare the neutrality of the Czech Republic, and also “to free it from direct political subordination to the EU, WHO and the UN”.
Gas prices began to rise against the backdrop of Russia's operation in Ukraine. In the summer, after a sharp reduction in supplies via Nord Stream, the cost of fuel approached the March record values. “Gazprom” admitted that if the current trend continues, according to conservative estimates, gas prices in winter will exceed $4,000 per 1,000 cubic meters. m.
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