Germany’s economy status shown in EU’s own leaked document3 min read
Olaf Scholz says Germany 'will manage better this winter'
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The EU’s largest economy is on the verge of collapsing, a leaked paper written by the EU Commission claims. A report commissioned by the German government and published Monday estimated that Germany has already suffered economic damage of at least €145 billion between 2000 and 2021, more than half of that since 2018 alone.
Germany’s economy minister, Robert Habeck, said the deadly flooding which hit western Germany two years ago showed the danger posed to lives and livelihoods by natural disasters made more frequent by climate change.
At the same time, the investments required for the transformation of the economy should be seen as an opportunity for growth, he said. “This is a gigantic industry and jobs programme.”
Habeck noted that Germany has managed to wean itself off Russian energy supplies over the past year.
By tapping new supplies and reducing consumption the country appears set to have more natural gas in its reserves by the end of the winter than it did at the same time last year, he said.
But a leaked EU paper on how the current energy crisis will impact the bloc, seen by German daily BILD, warned Germany’s automotive and chemical industries could be the most affected across the EU.
The paper also points to price trends impacting Germany’s investments in green and digital transformation.
It reads: “Price trends are forcing about 40 percent of companies to defer investments towards the green and digital transformation.
“And nearly one in four companies is considering (or already in the process of) relocating shares, production or jobs abroad.”
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The Commission’s paper also warns about competition coming from the US and China, adding the bloc, led by Berlin, will also be more affected than Washington and Beijing due to its reluctance to quickly phase out Russian gas and oil exports.
On Monday, Olaf Scholz said it will be necessary to tap into reserves in the labor market and attract skilled migrants if Germany is to achieve its goal of becoming climate neutral by 2045.
He said: “There’s a lot to do for which we need very many women and men who work here, but also those who come from other countries, so that all the work that needs to be done in Germany gets done.”
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Scholz, a member of the centre-left Social Democratic Party, said that due to demand for workers “Germany will leave the problem of joblessness behind in the coming years.”
Shifting away from planet-heating fossil fuels toward renewable power will be particularly difficult for Germany’s energy-intensive manufacturing industry.
Scholz added: “Until 2030 we need to erect four to five new wind turbines every day and the equivalent of more than 40 soccer pitches of solar panels.”
Germany’s Economy Ministry warned that failure to reduce emissions and curb climate change could cost the country dearly.
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