Gas embargo – expert warns of serious economic crisis


Christoph Badelt, former head of WIFO and current chairman of the Fiscal Council, expects serious economic turmoil in Austria if an EU embargo on Russian gas is imposed. “In this case, we may be faced with a crisis the magnitude of which we cannot even imagine,” Badelt said on Thursday.

If the Russian gas supply is stopped, the politicians must then concentrate on preventing mass poverty through large-scale production losses. Targeted support measures are then needed for groups of people and companies in need, according to the ex-Wifo boss in the podcast ‘Presse’.

Since the Russian attack on Ukraine began on Feb. 24, the EU has paid a total of €35 billion for energy imports from Russia, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said before the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday. .

Austria mainly obtains gas from Russia
The EU embargo on Russian gas that many have asked for cannot be implemented because countries heavily dependent on Russian gas, such as Austria, are rejecting it. Austria gets most of its gas from Russia. According to Eurostat estimates, 59 percent of the gas comes from Russia – domestic experts are currently talking about 80 percent. With a slightly lower figure, Eurostat relies on estimates as Austria keeps accurate data on gas imports from Russia under lock and key. Germany, Hungary, Portugal and the Netherlands are also quite skeptical about an embargo.

For Finance Minister Magnus Brunner (ÖVP), an EU embargo on Russian gas is not a realistic scenario. According to Brunner, sanctions only make sense if they do not affect you more than the person who should be affected. You have to keep a cool head, especially during a gas embargo. Chancellor Karl Nehammer (ÖVP) has also repeatedly rejected an active import ban on Russian natural gas, recently describing it as “unrealistic”.

Source: Krone


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