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WKÖ chief: “He who says A, must also say B”

It is necessary to mitigate the consequences of sanctions in a timely manner

Vienna “Economic development and prosperity in Europe, especially in Austria and Germany, is highly dependent on gas supplies from Russia. Karlheinz Kopf, Secretary General of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKÖ), said regarding the current debate on the consequences of sanctions on Russia.

From today’s perspective, Austria will still need gas for various production processes in its 2040 climate neutral target year, and this is likely to be just as much as it currently is. However, it is hoped that in the future it will not be natural gas, but hydrogen and bio-methane. Kopf: On the way there, natural gas will still be an indispensable bridge technology. If this natural gas, which will be in demand until then, is no longer coming from Russia – which is to be expected at any time – short and medium-term alternatives must be ensured. Otherwise, we will be heading towards troubled times economically, but also socially as a result.”

Quickly implement alternative procurement options and infrastructure measures

From the point of view of the Secretary-General of the WKÖ, it is very clear that those who have turned the screws of sanctions against Russia sharply at the European level either have less gas dependence on Russia or have not thought about the consequences of a possible interruption of gas supplies. . Austria, on the other hand, has been constantly criticized by others as being reluctant and too ‘friendly to Russia’ for its cautions. None of the critics have publicly told the population about the potential cost of this hard-line stance.

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In order to avoid a stagnation threatened by a complete halt to the supply of Russian gas, every alternative purchase option should be used as soon as possible, although Austria still has room for improvement from the responsible ministry in terms of intensity and speed.

This also applies to the desire to jump above the ideological shadow of the individual when it comes to infrastructure measures that are beneficial or necessary in the medium term. But the same people and organizations who constantly accuse the economy of “rolling the red carpet for Putin” at the same time demonize, for example, considerations of strengthening domestic gas reserves or the rapid expansion of production and pipeline infrastructure in the “dominant state interest” and are constantly trying to do so in order to prevent, as The Secretary General of WKÖ concluded. (the master)

Questions and contact:

Austrian Chamber of Commerce (WKÖ)
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