German minister wants people to 'annoy Putin' by cutting gas use

AFP - [email protected]
German minister wants people to 'annoy Putin' by cutting gas use
Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck speaking in Berlin. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Bernd von Jutrczenka

German economy minister Robert Habeck is urging compatriots to take steps to save on energy because it "annoys Putin", as the country aims to reduce its dependence on Russian gas over the Ukraine war.


 Habeck said in an interview with the Funke newspaper group published on Friday that people can take "very simple" measures to reduce consumption.

"As a general rule, I would say that we can always save 10 percent" on energy, he said.


He suggested that people can make savings by closing curtains to avoid heat loss at night and lowering their temperature settings by one degree.

"I urge each and everyone to save on energy right now," said Habeck, a Green Party politician who is also Germany's climate minister.

READ ALSO: Why Germany has urged households and businesses to cut back on gas

"If over Easter we can ride a bike or take the train, that's good, too. It spares your pocketbook and annoys Putin," Habeck said.

Germany has resisted calls within the European Union to ban Russian gas, with leading economic institutes warning that it would send the country into a sharp recession.

Germany has reduced its share of Russian gas imports from 55 percent before the war to 40 percent.

Habeck said last week that it would likely take until mid-2024 for Europe's top economy to wean itself off Russian deliveries.

READ ALSO: Germany activates emergency gas plan to secure supply

German officials have also triggered an emergency plan in anticipation of a gas shortage, which could result in gas rationing among households and businesses.


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