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Thursday, August 11, 2022

Government hopes for first measures, opposition disappointed

The opposition parties are disappointed after today’s meeting of the Energy Crisis Cabinet, and the government is hoping for a “wave of relief”.

After today’s meeting of the Energy Crisis Cabinet, the government hopes that the opposition will close ranks and that the first relief measures will have a noticeable effect in August. According to the Chancellor, the Austrian gas storage facilities are now around 53 percent full Karl Nehammer (ÖVP) and Energy Minister Leonore Gewessler (Greens) at a press conference after the talks. The opposition, which was also invited, was disappointed, the SPÖ and FPÖ had called for a price cap in advance.

Nehammer had also invited representatives of the opposition, the federal states, the social partners and experts from the energy industry to the meeting of the crisis cabinet (which includes the Vice Chancellor, Finance Minister, Energy Minister and Economics Minister) on Monday afternoon. It is “good news” that more than 50 terawatt hours (TwH) of gas are now stored in Austrian storage facilities.

The government has set itself the goal that Austria’s gas storage tanks must be at least 80 percent full by the start of the next heating season. A maximum of 95.5 TWh of gas can be stored in Austria, 80 percent of which is 76.4 TWh. The 50 TwH correspond to around 53 percent of the capacities or 55 percent of the annual consumption. Since today, Monday morning, the gas storage facility in Haidach has also been filled as planned.

Government hopes for “wave of relief”

At the same time, the first measures of the “relief wave” would also be felt in August, emphasized Nehammer. From August 3rd, the “special family allowance” of 180 euros per child will be paid out. The model for the “electricity price brake” will also be developed by the end of August – after that other energy sources will also be looked at, said the Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler (Green).

The opposition was rather disappointed after the summit. SPÖ boss Pamela Rendi-Wagner (SPÖ) complained that there had been no new proposals to cushion inflation. FPÖ club chairman deputy Dagmar Belakowitsch spoke of a “poor result”, NEOS boss Beate Meinl-Reisinger only found “headings”.

(APA/red)

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