In a letter, Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner asked the EU Commission for permission to waive VAT in the planned gas levy.

Germany will submit a corresponding application.

"VAT on levies imposed by the government is driving prices up and is encountering increasing resistance from the population, especially now in the extraordinary situation," said the FDP leader in a letter to EU Economic Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni.

The letter, written in English and dated Friday, was exclusively available to the Reuters news agency over the weekend.

Lindner added that the acceptance of the population is now crucial.

"I would like to ask the Commission at this early stage to look favorably on Germany's application."

The Federal Minister of Finance recently said that he - like Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) - did not want to levy VAT on the gas levy that will take effect from October.

However, he referred to European law, which speaks against it.

It is about the VAT system directive of the EU, which leaves no other option, according to Lindner's letter.

He therefore called on Gentiloni to use his right of initiative to change EU law and give the member states of the European Union the option of not having to levy VAT on energy taxes for a limited period of time.

Lindner justified this with the turmoil on the energy market - a consequence of the Russian attack on Ukraine.

"Russia uses energy as a weapon and is not a reliable supplier of energy." Important gas supplies have already been restricted since mid-June.

German gas importers would therefore have to bear high extra costs in order to obtain gas from other sources and still be able to serve their customers.

This would result in substantial losses and the risk that systemically important corporations could collapse.

"Rising energy prices are a threat to our prosperity and stability."

The federal government has therefore decided on a gas levy, the exact amount of which is to be published on Monday.

It is intended to stabilize the importers who have gotten into trouble and is scheduled to run until April 1, 2024.

A level of between 1.5 and five cents per kilowatt hour is planned for end consumers.

For a household of four, this could mean additional costs of up to 1000 euros - in addition to the price increases that have already taken place.