The situation is dreary – and almost hopeless: Austria’s gas tanks are almost empty (17.58% fill level), and after the end of gas deliveries from Russia to Poland and Bulgaria, the federal government in Vienna must expect the worst every hour.
The current gas boycott by Vladimir Putin against Poland and Bulgaria has now apparently woken up the Green Energy Minister Leonore Gewessler: In a “national effort” the energy supply is to be secured again, Gewessler announced an investment package worth 5 billion euros to fill Austria’s gas storage “before winter”.
The Energy Minister was not able to say exactly how this should happen: in the short term, attempts will be made to obtain natural gas from other providers. And in the long term, gas consumption is to be reduced, for this purpose gas is to be produced in Austria itself (bio-methane) and new supply routes are to be opened up, for example from Norway. Gewessler emphasized again that dependence on Russian gas should end in 2027 – after another five winters.
Not only the facial expressions of the minister and the chancellor, who was standing next to Leonore Gewessler in this press statement, emphasized the seriousness of the situation: the energy minister spoke for the first time today of the true and absolutely dire consequences of no more gas coming from Russia to Austria . Gewessler: “Then there will be production declines, production stops. And short-time work, as well as higher unemployment.”