Joint statement by employers' president Rainer Dulger and DGB chairman Reiner Hoffmann on the debate about a gas embargo:
Berlin, 19 April 2022: The BDA and the DGB strongly condemn the Russian war of aggression on Ukraine. Millions of people are fleeing in the middle of Europe, civilians are being killed in Ukraine and Russia is clearly not shying away from war crimes. We must not tolerate this. The war must end and Russia must withdraw its military.
We expressly support the German Government's sanctions against Russia. It is right to exert economic as well as military pressure on the Putin system. However, sanctions must be targeted, put the other side under pressure and, if possible, prevent damage to their own economy. We do not see this happening with the gas embargo currently under discussion. The negative effects on the economy and employment would currently be greater in Germany than in Russia. A rapid gas embargo in Germany would result in production losses, a production standstill, further deindustrialisation and lasting job losses.
It is right that we must break away from our dependence on Russian energy sources as quickly as possible. We support that. We should all be looking for ways to end this dependence more quickly. But when it comes to gas imports, Germany is not yet at the point today where it would be without profound negative consequences for our country.
In order to continue to support Ukraine and keep up the pressure on Russia, we need a stable economy and a stable labour market. We will still have to face many challenges in the coming months. We cannot do this from a position of weakness.