In the Baden-Württemberg economy, criticism of the management of the gas crisis by the green-black state government is growing.

“We view the economic situation as critical.

In this situation, the economy does not get the necessary attention from politicians.

We need 100% attention, otherwise many companies in the south-west will not survive the winter," said Peer-Michael Dick, Managing Director of the Entrepreneurs Baden-Württemberg Association (UBW), on Thursday of the FAZ

Ruediger Soldt

Political correspondent in Baden-Württemberg.

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In this crisis, companies could only be saved with generous financial aid.

“Now neither short-time work nor KfW loans are helping.

As a result of the crisis, Baden-Württemberg has billions in additional tax revenue.

That's money that could flow back to the companies.

A large part of the sales tax revenue comes from our companies.

But nothing happens,” said Dick.

On Thursday, the association presented a paper calling for “reasonable measures to cushion the energy price shock for a large part of the economy”.

So far, the federal government's relief packages have only brought financial relief for private households and small businesses.

The demand is to reduce the electricity tax to one euro per megawatt hour, to produce every "possible kilowatt hour" in Germany and to examine the feasibility of fracking.

"Additional aid from the federal and state governments is required, analogous to the Corona aid."

However, in view of the relief packages from the traffic light government, which could lead to non-compliance with the debt brake and will put a heavy strain on the state budget, the green-black state government does not want to launch any additional state aid programs for the time being - unlike in the pandemic.

According to the green-black coalition, the co-financing of the Berlin relief packages is already putting a heavy strain on the budget.

For the time being, no further crisis summit is planned.

However, there could possibly be an aid program with targeted financial aid for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

"Otherwise it's too late"

In crises, Winfried Kretschmann (Greens) relies on long-term "strategy dialogues" and avoids crisis summits, which in his view often only produce newspaper headlines but little of substance.

However, Dick criticizes that the prime minister has still not recognized the dramatic situation in the economy.

Referring to a multi-day delegation trip by the Prime Minister to California and Pennsylvania, Dick said: "In these times, foreign trips by politicians are only permitted on energy policy issues and the establishment of energy security."

Before a preliminary meeting for the Prime Ministers' Conference next week, Kretschmann briefly considered canceling the delegation trip with around a hundred participants.

However, because he will now be taking part in the MPK via video conference, the State Ministry decided to maintain the travel plans.

Peer-Michael Dick considers the current measures to contain the energy crisis to be short-sighted: “I am very concerned that private energy consumption is not yet noticeably decreasing.

And we all only have this winter on our radar – but how will we get through the winter of 2023/2024?”

Thomas Bürkle, President of the Association for Electrical Engineering and Information Technology and UBW Vice President, calls for quick help for companies, which, given the galloping energy prices, would have to be approved much faster than during the pandemic: "No company can reflect it in its cost plans if the Energy costs suddenly rise from 50,000 to 300,000 euros.” If the gas price brake could cap 70 percent of the cost increase, that would be a good step.

“The most damaging thing is the insecurity.

Many companies are now converting their energy supply from gas to oil, and the conversion must be approved quickly by the municipalities and districts.

Half a year is too long for companies,” said Bürkle.

If the federal and state governments didn't help companies quickly now,

Horst Lenk, owner of a textile company in Pforzheim and member of the UBW executive committee, also describes the situation in dramatic tones: “Before the crisis, the share of energy costs in retail sales was around 1.5 percent, now it is almost ten percent.

That's a lot with a margin of two to three percent in our industry." That's why, said Lenk, the state government must provide help "quickly and unbureaucratically": "If the approval of aid takes as long as it did during the Corona crisis, then it is it's too late for many retailers.”