German Economy Minister, Robert Habeck, was drowned out by protesters in Bayreuth last week as he urged Germans to accept the rising cost of energy as the price of standing against Russia. His statement was given right amidst the gas prices soaring even further thanks to a new government surcharge.
The minister’s speech in Bayreuth was disrupted by local residents, who accused him of a failed foreign and economic policy and urged to leave the city. A chorus of whistles rang out as Habeck took to the stage during a citizens’ forum in the Bavarian town. Holding signs reading “warmonger,” they chanted “get lost” as Habeck attempted to defend his government’s anti-Russia policies.
Habeck insisted that “Germany should not tolerate the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, despite financial disadvantages,” according to a write-up of the event on Stern, a German news site. Habeck claimed that rising prices are the fault of Putin, who should be opposed regardless of the cost to Europe. Participants in the forum, however, told Habeck that these “disadvantages” were hurting them.
German Economy Minister and Vice Chancellor of Germany Habeck is very popular pic.twitter.com/xxO8oKR96p— Levi (@Levi_godman) July 29, 2022
Germany’s strategy of moving away from Russian energy imports as quickly as possible amounts to “economic suicide,” a solar entrepreneur told the minister, according to coverage by the Frankfurter Allgemeine.
“What have the sanctions achieved?” another woman asked, adding that Russia will win in Ukraine regardless of the West’s economic penalties.
As reminded, Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has also mentioned the phrase “economic suicide” when talking about the anti-Russian sanctions.
Earlier, Habeck told German broadcaster ZDF that Nord Stream 2 would not be revived, arguing that doing so “would be raising the white flag” to Putin. Thus, last week, Germany decided to continue the so-called “pressuring” Russia and has voted in favor of an EU plan asking all member states to commit to a 15 per cent reduction in gas consumption over the winter, while several news outlets reported that a planned government surcharge will see gas bills soar for Germans from October onwards, with the average German household expected to pay an additional €1,000 ($1,016) per year to cook and heat their homes.