Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck sees Germany facing a “strength test” if Russia stops supplying gas to Germany – and speaks of a political “nightmare scenario”.

For Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck, the preparations for a winter that may be characterized by a lack of gas is an equation with several unknowns. In an interview with Deutschlandfunk, the Greens politician said with a view to the delivery volume expected from Russia this year: “Anything is possible. Anything can happen. It’s possible that the gas will flow again, even more than before. It can be that nothing will come. And to be honest, we always have to prepare for the worst and work a little bit for the best.”

“This will put Germany to the test”

Saving, storing and auctioning gas serve to avert the political “nightmare scenario” of an undersupply. Should this scenario nevertheless become reality, he expects heated debates, “also about my ministry, about me personally,” said Habeck, who according to polls is currently one of the most popular politicians. “This will put Germany to a crucial test that we haven’t had for a long time,” he added. “This will strain social solidarity to the limit and probably beyond.”

When asked about further relief for citizens due to high energy costs, Habeck replied: “The adjustment this year will be tough and for some people too tough.” It is also clear that “we have to catch up on this in socio-political terms”. Exactly how this will happen will be discussed as part of the “concerted action” in which Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) will discuss crisis management with trade unions and employees.