German economy minister plans government aid for mobility

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(Bloomberg) – German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said the country could expect some form of financial aid for commuters to ease the burden of rising fuel prices.

But he said it was unlikely to be as simple as the fuel rebate suggested by German Finance Minister Christian Linder.

“This suggestion was flimsy at first and lost more appeal this week,” Habeck told Deutschlandfunk radio when asked if he supported Linder’s plan. “Any relief will surely also include the area of ​​mobility, but perhaps in a more complex way.”

European governments are seeking to dampen rising prices for energy and other goods to retain voter support for sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

Germany on Wednesday approved 4.5 billion euros ($5 billion) in tax relief for consumers and is debating new aid, while French Prime Minister Jean Castex introduced new measures, including subsidies for energy-intensive companies estimated at around 3 billion euros.

Greece, meanwhile, will provide an allowance for low retirees and other vulnerable groups, and Portugal has reduced its fuel tax and offered a €400m credit line to affected industries.

Habeck said in the interview that he would like to offer financial assistance for rising fuel and electricity prices “as soon as possible,” but has not yet been able to announce a decision.

Read more: Germany warns gas stations it is monitoring price gouging

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