The ruble rolls and rolls for gas supplies.
The prices have risen to such an extent that Russia can afford to reduce delivery volumes without major cutbacks.
German consumers pay more in several ways: for the higher procurement costs, as taxpayers for the rescue of the importer Uniper and now also through the gas surcharge.
At 2.4 cents, it is in the middle of the announced range, with the gas industry hoping for five cents, but the government did not want to overburden citizens and businesses.
But the whole construct is knitted with a hot needle.
The Federal Ministers of Economics and Finance, Robert Habeck (Greens) and Christian Lindner (FDP), have designed the surcharge as part of the normal tariff so that they do not have to be subjected to a time-consuming EU subsidy procedure.
However, this means that the fee, like all parts of the working price, is subject to VAT.
So consumers pay another 19 percent more to the state, which actually wants to relieve them.
In order to get an exception, Lindner had to rush to Brussels, with an uncertain outcome.
Habeck has announced that if necessary, he will open the package again.
The two ministers call the levy an act of solidarity.
Originally, only importers of Russian gas were allowed to pass on the costs.
But that would have meant that other gas customers would have been fine, an unfair procedure from the point of view of politics.
But that's exactly what will happen again now, because suppliers like RWE or Shell want to pay the surcharge without burdening their customers.
And where is the solidarity of consumers who turn wood, electricity or the evil oil into heat?
If you want to overturn the price signal that reflects the scarcity, then the procurement of replacements should be subsidized from the budget to a limited extent.
The gas surcharge is a crazy idea.