Gas supplies critically low in Europe

The pressure on Europe is growing as a result of the reduced gas supplies from Russia: in Germany, Economics Minister Robert Habeck has announced that the country will move to stage two of its emergency gas plan. "We are in a gas crisis," Habeck said, warning of further price increases. How to ease the burden for Europeans?

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taz, die tageszeitung (DE) /

The payback for years of waste

Citizens and industry have never made serious attempts to save energy, complains the taz:

“This is because oil, gas and coal were always cheap and became ever cheaper measured against purchasing power. There was no pressure to economise. On the contrary, products became less long-lived and more energy-guzzling, transport routes longer, cars chunkier, flats bigger. Increased efficiency was eaten up by increased consumption: the more economical the engines, the bigger the cars and the further the journeys. ... Gas will be a scarce commodity from now on,' said [Economics Minister] Robert Habeck. That is true, but then again not entirely. Natural gas, which is as harmful to the climate as coal and finances autocratic systems, should have been scarce for decades.”

Le Figaro (FR) /

France has the right strategy

France is in a good position compared to Germany, which is shifting its focus to coal as an energy source once more, Le Figaro comments approvingly:

“We have more abundant, more stable and cleaner energy than elsewhere. This edifice is valuable but also fragile. In Europe, the same people who burn tons of coal are trying to torpedo it with the opaque battle over 'taxonomy'. ... After much hesitation, Emmanuel Macron has finally decided to invest massively in new nuclear power plants and renewable energies. This seems by far the most sensible decision in view of the climate challenges and strategic imperatives.”

Echo24 (CZ) /

Energy nationalisation is the way to go

Key power plants in the Czech Republic are to be put under state control as quickly as possible - a move Echo24 applauds:

“In this way, Prime Minister Petr Fiala has brought the long-awaited systematic solution to the energy problem into play. Among other things, the largest energy company ČEZ, 70 percent of which belongs to the state, is to be fully brought under state control. ... This will ultimately allow the government to regulate the price of energy. ... By keeping prices low, the nationalised power plants will exert pressure on other producers, who will not be able to sell their electricity at higher prices than state-owned ČEZ. As smaller players, they will have to adjust to state prices. This is a very sensible solution.”

Dagens Nyheter (SE) /

People are willing to make sacrifices

In the face of further cutbacks in Russian gas supplies Western governments should put their trust in their citizens, writes Dagens Nyheter:

“Politicians, including those in Sweden, should realise that there is a price to pay for standing up for Ukraine and against Putin. Above all, they should not assume that people will refuse to pay it. More than six out of ten Europeans believe it is important to defend European values such as democracy and personal freedom, even if it means higher inflation and lower living standards. ... And nine out of ten have no more sympathy with Putin's Russia. People in Europe know what values are at stake in Ukraine.”