Germany plans $194 Billion economic defense shield

The German government has presented plans for an energy relief package worth €150-200 billion ($145-194 billion) as households and businesses are faced with rapidly rising energy bills.

The package was announced at a press conference in Berlin given by Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Economy Minister Robert Habeck and Finance Minister Christian Lindner.

The new relief measures include a gas price cap that is to be financed by the Economic Stabilization Fund (WSF), which was originally set up to cushion the economic and social impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy. Although the WSF officially expired in the summer, it is now to receive extra funding.

The measures do not include a previously planned gas levy meant to protect companies forced to purchase more expensive gas than that from Russia. It was to have gone into force on October 1. However they do include a plan to tax windfall profits made by energy companies that have not been much affected by the rising gas prices.

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