Germany's Economics Minister warns high energy prices to stay
Berlin, May 3 (IANS) Consumers and companies in Germany should prepare for a long period of high energy prices, said Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck on Monday.
The government's economic aid package will help, but could not fully mitigate the impact of energy price increases for consumers. "That is the bitter and hard truth," Habeck said after a meeting with associations of small and medium-sized businesses.
The aid package for companies currently includes a loan programme via the state development bank KfW as well as energy cost subsidies. Under the scheme, some 4,000 companies are eligible for direct energy subsidies, Xinhua news agency reported.
Overall, the government so far adopted measures worth 30 billion euros ($31.6 billion), including an increase in the basic tax-free allowance and higher mileage allowances for long-distance commuters.