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Germany’s Chancellor Scholz: ‘We will make it through this winter’

REUTERS/Benjamin Westhoff

Germany is set to cut off its dependence on Russian gas fully by the end of next year. The chancellor also celebrated efforts made to prepare for the coming winter.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Tuesday that planned new liquified natural gas (LNG) terminals will be ready for imports by the end of 2023.

He was speaking at the German Employers’ Day event in Berlin.

“In January next year, the first of these new terminals will begin their operations and their pipeline connections will be expanded and grown,” Scholz said.

“By the end of next year, we will likely be ready to import [gas] — in Wilhelmshaven, in Stade, in Brunsbüttel, in Lubmin — in four locations at least, and we will then be able to import all the gas we need independently of Russia,” he added.

“Who would have thought that this country would have achieved that in such a short time? I’m very proud of that.”

Preparing for this winter

The chancellor also celebrated the speedy filling up of Germany’s gas reserves as well as the maintenance of its coal-burning power plants.

He added that the government is seeking to make sure that a couple of nuclear power plants in southern Germany, which have not yet been switched off, can remain running until next spring to avoid energy bottlenecks.

“Our common efforts have paid off and we will make it through this winter,” Scholz said.

He pledged to reform the energy market before the arrival of winter. Currently, energy prices are pinned to the price of gas, meaning other energy producers are set to make huge profits while consumers face soaring prices.

Scholz said any reform would be implemented in step with the EU which has already put forward several proposals, including windfall taxes on high-earning energy produces to help fund subsidies for consumers and businesses struggling to pay their electricity bills.

The German government has also already agreed to a €65 billion ($64.7 billion) relief package to support households from the impacts of inflation, including plans to continue cheaper public transport as well as tax breaks.

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