German government furious as ‘friendly countries’ charge ‘astronomical prices’ for gas

German Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck waits for the arrival of the Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte at the foyer of the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
By John Cody
2 Min Read

Germany has become extremely reliant on liquified natural gas from the United States to keep its industrial sector and economy afloat, and since the Nord Stream gas pipeline explosions, Germany has become even more dependent.

The pipeline explosion changes the entire geopolitical position of Germany, as it cut off any hope Germany had of restarting relations with Russia and regaining access to cheap gas supplies, which have served as the bedrock of the country’s industrial sector.

Given the circumstances, Germany is growing angry over the “sky-high” gas prices it has to pay from so-called “friendly countries.”

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Federal Minister of Economy Robert Habeck has criticized the high cost of delivering liquid gas to Germany. He says that even “friendly countries” have sometimes demanded “astronomical prices,” Habeck told the Osnabrücker Zeitung. He said there is need for further discussion in order to bring prices down.

“I think such solidarity would also be good for curbing gas prices,” emphasized the Green politician with a view to the government in Washington.

The EU must also “bundle its market power and orchestrate a smart and synchronized purchasing practice for EU states so that individual member countries do not outbid each other and drive up world market prices. The market power of the member states is “enormous.”

Besides his criticism of the U.S., Habeck left it open as to which countries he was accusing of price gouging. After Russia stopped being a crucial gas supplier, Germany imported gas primarily from Norway, the Netherlands, and Belgium. Germany’s gas storage facilities are currently 90 percent full, but there are fears that even if the country makes it through the winter with enough gas, prices will rise to unsustainable levels, leading to deindustrialization in the country and a severe recession that could lead to a permanent loss of prosperity.

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