GERMAN breweries have been told to stop brewing amid concerns the Oktoberfest will be canceled after Russia banned gas supplies.
Hanover became the first major European city to be affected by Putin’s decision and announced that heating in public buildings and swimming pools would be turned off.
Meanwhile, Berlin has begun to turn off the lights on its historic sites and the city of Augsburg has decided to turn off its public fountains.
Other cities are expected to join the energy-saving effort while gas shortages threaten other areas of German life, including the popular Octoberfest slated for will return after two years of the pandemic.
Rosi Steinberger, a member of the Bavarian parliament confirmed to the New York Times that Oktoberfest celebrations could be scrapped – and the same goes for the Christmas Market.
And non-essential industries like Bavaria’s breweries could be forced to close in an effort to save energy amid soaring gas prices.
Germans have been warned of an upcoming “gas surcharge” on their already high energy bills to prevent suppliers from going bankrupt.
“We can’t say yet what petrol prices will be in November, but the bitter news is it’s definitely a few hundred euros per household,” said Robert Habeck, Economy Secretary.
The new fee will apply in October and will last at least until March 2024.
But Germany is not the only European country to adopt energy conservation measures as Belgium has moved back from phasing out nuclear power while the Netherlands and Austria are transitioning to coal-fired power plants.
The energy crisis erupted earlier this week when Russian energy giant Gazprom tightened its supply by 20%.
Hanover Mayor Belit Onay said an “imminent gas shortage” meant he had to cut energy consumption by 15% in the Lower Saxony capital.
Before the Ukraine war, Germany bought 55% of natural gas from Russia.
Prime Minister Olaf Scholz has launched a national effort to save energy, with the EU agreeing this week to cut Russian gas use across the bloc.
Turning off air conditioners, boosting public transport and even promoting more efficient showering are among drastic efforts to cut energy consumption in Germany.
Officials have warned that the Kremlin could cut off supplies this winter in fierce retaliation for crippling Western sanctions on Moscow because of the war.