BERLIN: Germany on Wednesday signed off on an energy price cap, the cornerstone of a massive 200-billion-euro ($198-billion) package to shield households and businesses from rising costs.
"The source for these consequences and great challenges is (Russian President Vladimir) Putin's war," German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said at a press conference, reports AFP.
Germany's businesses have also been crying out for help at a time when Europe's largest economy is drifting towards recession and inflation has shot past 10 percent.
The plan will see the price for a percentage of household and businesses' typical consumption capped at lower-than-market prices. For gas, 25,000 larger businesses, as well as almost 2,000 hospitals and schools will benefit from the cap as soon as January 1 next year, according to the plan agreed between the federal government and regional leaders.
Households and smaller businesses meanwhile could have to wait until March 1 at the latest for the price brake to come into force.
Policymakers will "seek" to apply the relief retroactively from February 2023, according to the document.
A similar price cap will also apply to electricity from the start of the new year in January, with the measures set to last through to the end of April 2024.