One of the most important daily newspapers in the UK is not impressed by Germany's resolve to punish Russia. They want to increase the pressure on Germany to "finally" impose an import ban on Russian gas. Otherwise, Germany itself should expect sanctions.
The British Telegraph is on a post-Brexit mission: The commentary in question comes from “finance columnist” Matthew Lynn, to whom the Telegraph already gave a platform to admonish Germany at the end of March.
There, too, Lynn claimed that Germany could easily afford to stop importing Russian gas and should start doing so without further delay.
Matthew Lynn thinks Germany’s concerns about their economy shrinking by 5 percent should be ignored. At any rate, he does not accept Germany’s argument that it wants to maintain social peace and only gradually become independent of Russian energy. According to Lynn, Germany is rich enough and should not make such a fuss about sanctions. Otherwise it should be punished with sanctions itself. Because anyone who buys German goods is deliberately supporting Vladimir Putin, Lynn contended.
It is almost as if Lynn and his sponsors have a vested interest in destroying Germany’s economy.
Sanctions would have a massive impact on the German population. Even essential areas such as the food supply would be affected. It is the fourth largest branch of industry in Germany, but has the second highest gas consumption after the chemical industry. Fear is now growing in the industry. Industry representatives warn urgently of the consequences of an energy embargo, but also of longer-term supply failures, for example with sunflower oil.
The chairman of the Nahrung-Genuss-Gaststätten (NGG) trade union, Guido Zeitler, told the Handelsblatt that he had spoken with companies about stopping Russian gas deliveries: “Many of them told me that if that really happened, then the lights go out for us”.
The production and processing of food, both animal and vegetable, is very energy-intensive. This is already linked to a price explosion, for example in agriculture, where farmers are suddenly confronted with drastically rising petrol and fertilizer prices. The food industry, which employs around 614 000 people, is now worried that companies will no longer be supplied with Russian gas after an import ban.
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