Gas shortages: who can save Uniper?
The crisis involving Germany's largest gas supplier Uniper is coming to a head: due to reduced Russian gas supplies the listed company has been forced to buy gas on the expensive spot market over the last few weeks in order to meet its delivery obligations, and is suffering enormous losses as a result. Its largest shareholder is the Finnish Fortum Group. The government in Helsinki has so far refused to intervene on the company's behalf, saying that this is Berlin's responsibility.
Finnish tax payers have done their bit
Solidarity does not mean that other people always pick up the bill, Iltalehti cautions:
“The Finnish tax payers have had to contribute more than once to saving German banks in various European debt crises. Now we are being asked to pay up to protect German tax payers from high gas bills. Of course Vladimir Putin is really to blame here. ... All disputes between EU countries just play into his hands. And yet you do have to ask yourself whether EU cohesion and solidarity could just once be demonstrated by Germany forking out to pay Finnish bills - or at least its own.”
It's all your own fault, Germany
Berlin will have to answer for the mistakes of the past, Wirtschaftswoche thunders:
“After the government itself got so tight with Russia, it can hardly blame Uniper for relying so heavily on Russian gas. It just makes you want to shout: 'It's all your own fault, Germany!' It goes without saying that Uniper has system relevance - which was not the case when the state bailed out Lufthansa and Tui: hundreds of public utility companies are umbilically connected to its gas pipe, and these in turn guarantee every citizen access to gas and electricity and deliver to industry as well. If Uniper fails, public utility companies fail, and we freeze. That's reason enough to do everything possible to fill the tanks - instead of emptying them.”