People are concerned over a possible lack of gas due to cuts in Russian supplies
Half of German citizens say they fear a lack of heating this coming winter due to reduced Russian gas supplies and rising inflation in the European Union, Bild reported on Sunday, citing the results of a survey carried out by the Institute for New Social Answers (INSA).
The poll revealed that 75% of respondents see recent price hikes as a heavy burden, while 50% said they feel their economic conditions are worsening. In June, inflation in the Eurozone hit 8.6%, marking the highest level since the introduction of the single currency over two decades ago.
A separate survey conducted by the German Economic Institute (IW) revealed that more than 20 million Germans feel threatened by energy poverty. The results of the poll published by Die Welt on Sunday shows that in May, a quarter of the German population had to spend over 10% of their net household income on energy. Last year, the share of those affected stood at 14.5%.
"The risk of energy poverty has increased enormously," Ralph Henger, economist for housing policy at the IW said. "Galloping energy prices are putting increasing financial pressure on private households."
On Saturday, Federal Network Agency President Klaus Mueller urged house and apartment owners to have their gas boilers and radiators checked and adjusted to maximize their efficiency.
The appeal comes amid drastic reductions of Russian gas supplies to the country via the Nord Stream pipeline due to technical issues stemming from Western sanctions imposed on Moscow.
Additionally, Russia halted gas supplies to Finland, Poland, Bulgaria, Denmark's Orsted, Dutch company GasTerra, and energy giant Shell for its German contracts - for refusing to adopt the gas-for-rubles payment scheme introduced by Moscow in response to sanctions.
Last week, Nord Stream AG, the operator of the undersea pipeline, said it would shut down both sections of the route for annual repair works from July 11 to July 21. Gazprom, the firm's majority shareholder, says the maintenance was scheduled and agreed with all partners.
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