Robert Habeck Buendnis 90/Die Gruenen, Bundesminister fuer Wirtschaft und Klimaschutz und Vizekanzler, aufgenommen vor einer Ampel im Rahmen eines Pressestatements nach der Sitzung des Kabinetts in Berlin, 24.08.2022. Berlin Deutschland *** Robert Habeck Buendnis 90 Die Gruenen , Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection and Vice Chancellor, photographed in front of a traffic light during a press statement after the cabinet meeting in Berlin, 24 08 2022 Berlin Germany Copyright: xFlorianxGaertner/photothek.dex

Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) defended the controversial gas levy on “Deutschlandfunk”. The gas levy draws in a floor that is necessary to “stop the bleeding of companies”. Habeck cited the combination of high prices and delivery failures due to the Russian war of aggression as the reason.

“What is of course not necessary is that free riders, i.e. companies that are currently making profits, also get the gas surcharge,” conceded Habeck. “We have to push free riders off the footboard,” he continued, naming three measures:

1. Companies must have a share in Germany’s security of supply – “ie not only compensate for Russian gas failures”.2. Only gas quantities “that are of a certain relevance for the company may be reallocated”. 3. “Companies that receive government aid are not allowed to pay out bonuses and dividends”.

In view of the criticism, Habeck admitted “that one should have seen that”, but at the same time referred to the demanding situation and the time pressure under which the measures had to be taken. “It shouldn’t be an excuse, things didn’t go well there, but it’s not the case that everyone (in the Ministry of Economics) finishes work at 5 p.m.,” said Habeck Payment of funds that would have come anyway,” the Minister of Economic Affairs specified. At the same time, the mechanism would spread the costs evenly across all shoulders. Exploding gas prices for only a part of society and the companies – “Germany would have endured much less”.