The federal government is apparently preparing to declare the alarm level of the national gas emergency plan within a few days. Secretary of State for Economic Affairs Patrick Graichen prepared the energy industry for the upcoming step on Monday, writes the newspaper “Welt”, citing the industry. This representation was confirmed by dpa inquiries on Tuesday evening in energy industry circles. This second stage could immediately and significantly increase the price of natural gas for all consumers.

The Economics Ministry does not want to speculate about the proclamation of the next stage in the gas emergency plan. “The statutory regulations and requirements apply to the stages of the gas emergency plan. We make decisions based on these specifications and do not speculate about them. A decision is made based on the current situation and the current picture of the situation,” said a spokeswoman. The security of supply is currently guaranteed, but the situation is serious.

Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck on Tuesday described the throttling of Russian gas supplies through the Nord Stream Baltic Sea pipeline as an “attack” by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Green politician spoke of a new dimension on Tuesday at Industry Day. The reduction in gas supplies by Nord Stream is an “economic attack on us”. Putin uses energy as a weapon.

Putin is reducing the amount and wants to drive up the prices. In doing so, he wants to trigger a debate in Europe and in Germany about fear, for example of material losses – in order to ultimately trigger a debate on whether Putin should not be allowed in Ukraine, as Habeck made clear. The war against Ukraine is an attack on individual freedom.

Habeck had presented a package of measures to reduce gas consumption in industry. This also includes turning more climate-damaging coal into electricity again. This is “very bad news,” said Habeck. However, the measure is necessary to fill up the gas storage tanks. Germany cannot go into the winter with half-full storage facilities. If Russia then turns off the gas tap, there will be talk of a severe economic crisis that will hit Germany.

The “Welt” reported that suppliers should assume that the alarm level will be declared within five to ten days. With the announcement, Graichen addressed the 55 members of the board of the Federal Association of Energy and Water Management (BDEW).

The association said that committee meetings are generally not open to the public: “The BDEW therefore does not provide information about the course and content of such meetings and does not comment on any speculation in this regard.”

The gas emergency plan regulates the procedure in Germany if the supply situation threatens to deteriorate significantly – or if this is the case. There are three levels. At the end of March, the Ministry of Economics announced the first stage, the early warning stage. This served primarily to prepare for a worsening of the situation.