Robert Habeck: "I hope it will be better towards the end of 2023"
Photo: Markus Scholz / dpa
With perseverance slogans, Economics Minister Robert Habeck swears the citizens in for 2023.
'When do prices go down?
I hope that it will be better towards the end of 2023, even if not at the level of 2021," said the Green politician of the dpa news agency.
"We'll have to endure higher prices throughout the year."
After that, the infrastructure with floating LNG terminals will probably be developed to such an extent that enough replacement for the missing Russian gas will flow to Germany and the prices will regulate themselves again.
Most recently, the gas price on Europe's wholesale markets had already fallen.
However, this has not yet had any direct impact on consumers' gas bills, as many suppliers have stocked up on long-term contracts.
"If we manage to expand this further at the pace now presented, then we will reconnect Germany to the world market," affirmed Habeck, referring to the LNG terminals.
"And then we will also get world market prices that are well below what we have now."
The gas price brake should help temporarily.
The federal government is thus artificially reducing a certain gas consumption for consumers to a price of 12 cents per kilowatt hour.
»Many companies want to fill their pockets again«
The economist Marcel Fratzscher, however, criticizes that with the gas and electricity price brake, the help is not getting where it is needed.
"I consider the two price brakes to be colossal mistakes," said the President of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) to the "Augsburger Allgemeine" newspaper.
»We have a double imbalance.
These aid funds benefit companies much more than private households.
This is the first slip for me.
The second imbalance is that people with high incomes, with high levels of wealth, are given significantly more money than people with low incomes.«
Fratzscher accused the industry of scaremongering because of the increased energy prices.
The warning against de-industrialization is a bugbear.
"Ultimately, it's a specter that's being built up to get money out of politicians' ribs," said Fratzscher.
From his point of view, the state could have helped the companies more cheaply and more precisely by applying for energy subsidies via the tax consultants in the same way as for the Corona aid.
He also accuses some of the corporations of using high inflation to screw up profits.
"Many companies jump on the bandwagon and want to fill their pockets again and then blame the rising prices on energy costs or the war in Ukraine," said Fratzscher.
"The driver of inflation in the coming year will not be rising energy prices, but rather that many companies will continue to raise their prices." These are often not small and medium-sized companies.
"It's not the bakery around the corner, but rather the large corporations that can then implement it very well," said Fratzscher.
He referred to relevant data.
"And then, of course, you ask yourself whether it's right that the federal government is throwing billions at these companies again through a gas and electricity price brake."