IV chief Knill calls for a withdrawal of Russian gas

IV chief Knill calls for a withdrawal of Russian gas

Knill said that despite the further increase in Russian supply volumes, Austria must continue to assume that Russia will not supply more gas overnight. It is therefore a matter of guaranteeing a reliable and accessible supply of gas for the coming years. It therefore needs other supplier countries, such as Norway or the Gulf States, and infrastructure for imports, such as liquefied gas terminals and gas pipelines.

Knill estimates that the state’s energy aid will not fully take effect. As the price of gas has dropped to €50 per megawatt-hour, the industry won’t need the full budgeted €7 billion, according to Knill. He expressed his confidence that companies will no longer find themselves in a situation where the energy market no longer works.

After the huge state aid, first in the corona crisis and then in the energy crisis, it is necessary to move away from state funds. You have to move away from help and back to personal responsibility. The IV will be withdrawn when there are requests for more help. “We also have to take each other by the hand,” Knill said.

The head of IV described the job market in Austria as “positively tense”. More than 200,000 vacancies could not be filled. “We have nearly full employment.” Knill said it’s about exploring the full potential, the biggest potential is part-time. There are false incentives here because part-time work has tax privileges compared to full-time work.

There is more potential in foreign workers. Further immigration via the red-white-red card is needed. Austria should do localization marketing and actively recruit workers from Kosovo and Bosnia, as well as from South America and Southeast Asia. Knill warned that there will be more than 500,000 labor shortages in the coming years.

The sector representative also campaigned for free trade. The planned Mercosur agreement with Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay concerns not only Argentine beef, but also sales markets for Austrian exporters. Knill cited climate protection as an argument for the Mercosur agreement: In the free trade agreement, countries would also commit to complying with the Paris climate agreement.

The 2015 Paris climate protection agreement was supposed to stop global warming by 1.5 degrees, but experts say it’s already too late for that. Mercosur countries Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay have ratified the Paris climate protection agreement, as have Austria and all EU countries, but so far have failed to meet the agreed targets. According to NASA, the Earth was about 1.11 degrees warmer on average in 2022 than it was at the end of the 19th century, i.e. before the industrial revolution.