German economy faces “severe crisis” in case of Russian gas supply halt – chemical industry
Germany’s economy faces a “severe crisis” should fossil gas supplies from Russia come to a complete stop, the president of the German Chemicals Industry Association (VCI), Christian Kullmann, told Süddeutsche Zeitung. “In the event of a complete gas embargo, I fear a heart attack for the German economy, including our industry,” Kullmann said. As chemical products are needed “for 90 percent of all production processes” in Germany, the country would “come to a standstill” without the chemical industry, the lobbyist said. Asked whether industry had to be favoured over private households in the case of possible rationing of gas, Kullmann emphasised the importance of securing jobs and income. “It is more important for society than fully securing private gas supplies. What good would it do if households continued to get gas but could no longer pay for it,” he asked.
The government has warned that a decision by Russia to stop gas deliveries will cause severe damage to the entire economy, with unemployment rising and several businesses potentially going bust. Many companies have written letters to the government insisting how “systemically relevant” they are, often highlighting their role in what could be a long line of production steps for crucial products. Using fossil gas in industry processes like chemicals production cannot be substituted overnight. Companies can either try to run operations more efficiently, or lower or shut down production.