German chancellor Olaf Scholz stated on Saturday that Germany is preparing for the situation where Russia decided to halt its gas supply to Europe in its entirety following the backlash of the war in Ukraine. This comes as Europe prepares to weather the coming winter months.
According to Scholz, Germany has set up terminals on the north German coast to import liquid natural gas from other suppliers. He added that the country has been stockpiling gas in anticipation of a stoppage in Russian supply and that coal-fired power plants will be used to limit the effects of this supply drought. At the beginning of next year, Germany will have the opportunity to use its remaining southern nuclear power plants if necessary, the chancellor confirmed.
Not all parties are confident of Germany’s ability to overcome this challenge, however, with Germany’s Association of Towns and Municipalities expressing its doubts. Marcel Fratzscher, president of German think tank DIW, is also unconfident.
“Recession is unavoidable, we are already in a downturn,” Fratzscher stated, adding that he believes that the German economy will shrink in 2023 and potentially struggle to recover over the following year.