Extreme increases in energy prices are now affecting all two million customers of Wien Energie, and district heating is said to be 92% more expensive. In addition, all Viennese now know why these prices of the urban group have to rise even more extreme than many other Austrian energy companies: The managers of Wien Energie may have speculated with long-term futures transactions – the city of Vienna had to take twice 700 million euros from the tax pot as a safeguard shoot up the deals, plus there is now a “rescue loan” of two billion from the federal government.
It is not clear to many Viennese why the managing director of Wien Energie went into hiding for four days after the financial scandal broke and is now still in his chief post as the person primarily responsible: Michael Strebl has not offered in his previous statements either To take responsibility for the current fiasco and the enormous damage to the image of the Vienna SPÖ city government and the city of Vienna.
Even on Wednesday, when it was already known internally that there must have been “margin calls”, i.e. speculation by Wien Energie on the electricity exchange, Strebl publicly denied that the municipal group had speculated. Rather, he used the example of a natural disaster as an excuse: “Wien Energie was hit by a tsunami wave.” Oddly enough, the horror wave did not hit any other Austrian electricity provider.