Natural gas supply contract – IV boss: “Completely miscalculated” with Russia


The head of the Federation of Austrian Industries (IV), Georg Knill, is pushing for an exit given Austria’s recent increasing dependence on Russian natural gas. “We can no longer rely on this source,” he said in the ORF “press hour” on Sunday.

When asked about OMV’s supply contract with Gazprom, which was extended from 2018 to 2040, Knill said Russia had been “completely misjudged” and Austria had been misled. Despite the renewed increase in Russian supply volumes, one must continue to assume that Russia will stop supplying gas overnight.

Knill: “It needs other supplier countries”
It is therefore important to ensure a reliable and affordable gas supply in the coming years. It therefore needs other supplier countries, such as Norway or the Gulf States, and infrastructure for the import, such as liquefied gas terminals and pipelines.

Knill estimates that the state’s energy support will not be fully effective. Because the gas price has fallen to 50 euros per megawatt hour, the industry will not need the full amount of the budgeted seven billion euros, said the head of IV. He expressed his confidence that companies will no longer end up in a situation in which the energy market no longer functions.

Weaning off government funds
After the massive state aid, first in the corona crisis and then in the energy crisis, we have to break away from state money. You need to get away from help and back to personal responsibility. The IV will withdraw if more help is called for. “We also have to take ourselves by the hand,” says Knill.

The head of the IV described the labor market in Austria as “positively tense”. More than 200,000 vacancies could not be filled. “We have almost full employment.” Knill said it’s about using all the potential, the biggest potential is part-time. There are false incentives here because part-time work is tax-advantaged compared to full-time work.

There is more potential in foreign workers. More immigration via the red-white-red card is needed. Austria must engage in location marketing and actively recruit workers from Kosovo and Bosnia, but also from South America and Southeast Asia. Knill warned that there will be more than 500,000 labor shortages in the coming years.

Source: Krone


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