German Gas Companies Getting State Aid Shouldn't Pay Dividends, Economy Minister Says

By Cecilia Butini

German energy companies receiving financial compensation due to the Russian gas supply shortfall shouldn’t be allowed to pay out dividends, the country’s Economy Minister Robert Habeck said Tuesday.

Financial compensation to energy companies hurt by soaring energy prices must not be funneled to “freeloading” companies that don’t need it, the minister said in an interview with German radio Deutschlandfunk.

State aid must only be extended to companies whose activities have a direct relevance to Germany’s energy procurement. This means compensation won’t be available to companies that make big profits with other businesses, the minister said.

“The gas levy is nothing to be happy about, but as I tried to explain, it’s a necessary measure to compensate as fairly as possible for the high prices resulting from the replacement of Russian gas,” Mr. Habeck said. He added that there are burdens associated with it, and the program might be modified time and again.

Germany is set to impose a levy on gas consumption starting from Oct. 1 until March 2024. The government cabinet will discuss the measure in a session running Tuesday and Wednesday.

Write to Cecilia Butini at

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