BERLIN, Germany: Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Germany will spend at least 65 billion euros ($64.7 billion) to help residents and businesses cope with surging inflation.
He made this statement two days after Russia announced it was suspending some gas deliveries to Europe indefinitely.
The measures, which will be paid for by a windfall tax on electricity companies and the implementation of the planned 15 percent global minimum corporate tax, include more benefits and public transport subsidies.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February has caused global inflation and prompted warnings of social and economic turmoil.
In Germany, year-on-year inflation was 7.9 percent in August, exacerbated by Russia reducing supplies of gas sent to the country, which has caused a surge in energy prices.
“Russia is no longer a reliable energy partner,” said Scholz during a news conference, adding that Germany’s earlier preparations will enable it to have adequate energy stocks for the winter.
Partly due to corporate consumers reducing consumption, gas stores have reached 85 percent of capacity almost one month ahead of schedule.
This week, Russia’s state-controlled energy giant Gazprom said that its main Nord Stream 1 pipeline, the largest single pipeline carrying Russian gas to Germany, will remain closed.
The 65 billion euro allocation brings to the total amount set aside to cope with inflation since the Ukraine war began in February to 95 billion euros, adding to the 300 billion euros spent on the economy over the two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, according to Finance Minister Christian Lindner, the 65 billion euros announced this week could be increased if electricity prices rise further.