10 Jan 2024, 15:18
Franca Quecke

Germany accounted for more than half of industry subsidies granted in EU during energy crisis — report


Germany provided more state aid for companies during the energy crisis than all of the other 26 member states of the European Union combined, reports business daily Handelsblatt. The data comes from an interim assessment by the EU Commission covering the period from March 2022 to June 2023 that was seen by the newspaper and is due in the coming weeks. Out of a total of 140 billion euros in national economic support greenlighted by the European Commission, Germany paid out 72.8 billion euros. Italy stood in second place with 39.2 billion euros, ahead of Spain with 12 billion euros. The figures only include state aid for companies as part of the EU crisis instrument Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework (TCTF) and not other subsidies or energy aid for companies and households. According to Handelsblatt, 85 percent of German subsidies went to just two companies: energy company Uniper and gas trader Securing Energy for Europe GmbH (SEFE), formerly Gazprom Germania.

Despite the large differences in expenditure between the countries, EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said the payments did not constitute a distortion of competition. State aid from the German government mainly went to the two energy companies to stabilise the gas market and was not used to subsidise industrial companies, argued Vestager in an interview with Handelsblatt. Without the subsidies, there would have been a "very difficult situation" in the German gas market, a situation which would have had consequences for the European market.

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