In general, Agenda Austria paints a gloomy picture of economic development. In the worst case, a gas embargo against Russia could cause Austria’s economic output to collapse by up to 4.5 percentage points in the current year.
Unbelievable damage: 17 billion euros – and almost 80,000 more unemployed, estimates Agenda Austria in a recent study. The institute calculated three scenarios: In the first two, the domestic economy would fall into recession this year.
For classification: The figures from Agenda Austria refer exclusively to the economic damage. It is not yet possible to foresee what social consequential damage would result from the measures.
However, according to the Agenda study, the greatest burden of a gas embargo would have to be borne by industry. Paper and metal production as well as chemicals would be most affected in a first step. Where natural gas is used as a preliminary product, it could not be replaced at all – for example in parts of fertilizer production. Other industries could compensate for gas, but only with considerable effort – and not immediately. The service sector would be less affected.
But even in the most optimistic scenario, the gross domestic product would collapse by 5.6 billion euros and around 25,000 jobs would be at risk, they say. According to Agenda Austria, if half of the gas could be replaced, 40,000 people would lose their jobs – and the slump in economic output would amount to 9 billion euros.
Austria is known to be 80 percent dependent on Russian gas. And the Austrians, who would keep their job, could end up footing the bill: as gas end customers who would be faced with massive price increases.
Schellhorn therefore demands that the government must now immediately review and update its emergency plans in order to be able to act if necessary. In the medium term there will be no way around a significant reduction in gas requirements.