Saturday, February 4, 2023

German political party says Berlin should buy gas from Iran

To meet its energy needs, Germany should negotiate with Iran on gas supplies, according to the leader of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, Tino Chrupalla.

“As the AfD, we represent an interest-driven foreign policy for the good of our country,” Chrupalla told Die Welt newspaper.

“If we want to compensate for a lack of Russian gas, we need every supplier. To be as independent as possible, we will also have to buy gas from Iran,” he noted.

Along with Russia, Iran has the largest gas reserves in the world.

According to the German-Iranian Chamber of Industry and Commerce, there have been very few gas exports from Iran to Germany in recent years.

EU countries have been battling record-high inflation, driven largely by rising energy costs.

Almost a quarter of Germans won’t buy Christmas presents this year because of high inflation, Bild newspaper reported on Saturday, citing a survey by the Institute for New Social Answers (INSA).

According to the report, 23% of respondents said they will not buy Christmas presents at all, while 22% said they will have to use their savings to buy gifts. A further 3% said they may be forced to incur debts to buy presents.

Overall, less than half of those surveyed said they will be able to fit Christmas purchases into their budget. The report did not provide data on the number of participants in the survey.

Bild also noted that the cost of Christmas gifts in Germany this year has grown by around 56% compared to 2021, according to price comparison platform Idealo, which analyzed the prices of more than 120 popular Christmas presents.

Germany’s annual inflation rate jumped to 10.4% in October, hitting a new historic high, according to data from the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). While the agency has not published data for November yet, it expects the inflation rate to have remained above 10%.

The prices are mostly driven by rising energy costs, which surged following the drop in gas supplies from Russia amid Ukraine-related Western sanctions on the country.

Last month, INSA conducted another survey which found that half of Germans think Berlin is failing to combat the energy crisis, while nearly 30% say they will not be able to pay for energy in the coming months.

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