Vice-Chancellor of Germany admitted to saving on the soul because of Russian gas

Against the backdrop of limited Russian gas supplies and the risk of its shortage this winter, even high-ranking German officials have to make personal sacrifices

Robert Habek

German Vice-Chancellor, Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection Robert Habek, in an interview with Spiegel, said that he began to spend less time in the shower for the sake of solidarity with the call of his department, which suggested using such household methods to save energy because of expensive energy carriers.

“I adhere to what my ministry recommends (energy saving.— RBC). I have significantly reduced my shower time. But I'm a bad example. As a minister, I have a salary that others only dream of. Besides, I come home late, get up at six and leave at seven. In winter, there is no need to heat at all. My Dutch colleague recently told me proudly that they want to campaign to reduce the average shower time from ten to five minutes. I felt funny. I have never taken a shower for five minutes in my life. I wash quickly, — he said.

Khabek acknowledged that the rise in prices due to the rise in gas prices and the economic situation that developed after the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine could hit the low-income segments of the population hard. “If you make a lot of money, you can handle rising prices. But I know many citizens who do not have enough money until the end of the month. There are people who did not heat all the rooms in their apartment last winter. And to be honest, it's not over yet. More people will suffer,— Habek says.

According to him, Germany is facing a shortage of gas in the coming winter, so all Germans need to cut energy consumption. “Gas consumption should be reduced wherever possible. Otherwise it will be difficult, — he emphasized. Otherwise, the authorities will have to make difficult decisions, the minister noted, in particular— cut gas supplies to some industries.

As early as March 30, Germany introduced the first level of the emergency warning regime in gas supply due to possible interruptions in supplies from Russia— it provides for the maximum reduction of gas consumption and constant monitoring of the situation on the gas market. On June 23, the level of emergency warning was increased by another step. The third, last level will be emergency, the gas market will be regulated by the authorities.

Against the backdrop of problems with gas supplies from Russia and fears of a complete overlap of Russian exports to Germany, various options for saving energy resources were proposed. In addition to reducing the time spent in hot water showers, savings on heating were among the proposals. And the head of the Association of German Trade Unions, Rainer Hoffmann, proposed introducing a temporary speed limit on German roads: up to 100 km/h on highways and up to 30 km/h in cities to save gasoline. The idea was supported by the Minister of Food and Agriculture of Germany, Cem Ozdemir.

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