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Germany unveils huge electricity price relief for ailing manufacturers

AFP
AFP - [email protected]
Germany unveils huge electricity price relief for ailing manufacturers
A metal industry working in Halberstadt, Saxony-Anhalt. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Peter Gercke

Germany announced on Thursday a huge relief package including tax cuts on electricity for the manufacturing sector, in a bid to shore up an economy that man fear could end the year in recession.

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"Alone in the coming year, the relief will reach up to 12 billion," said Chancellor Olaf Scholz in a statement.

In 2024 and 2025, electricity tax will be slashed from the current 1.537 cents per kilowatt to the European Union minimum of 0.05 cents per kilowatt for the manufacturing sector.

READ ALSO: What will happen to gas and electricity prices this winter in Germany?

The lowered tax could be extended for a further three years, said the government in a statement.

The most energy-intensive companies most vulnerable to international competition will also have costs related to their emissions trading reimbursed under the package.

The agreement on the help package for manufacturers came after weeks of hefty discussions between the industry and the German government. German companies, especially in sectors such as chemical and metal manufacturing, have struggled with a surge in power prices triggered by Russian energy supply cuts in the wake of Moscow's war in Ukraine.

The higher electricity costs have undercut German exporters' price competitiveness on the global stage.

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For months, the economy ministry has been pushing for a cap for industrial power prices -- essentially a subsidy on electricity.

But the finance ministry had baulked at the huge costs and warned against market distortion.

The German economy tipped into recession at the start of the year and stagnated in the second quarter.

A string of weak economic data since then has added to fears of a prolonged downturn.

The International Monetary Fund has predicted that Germany will be the only major advanced economy to shrink this year.

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