German news outlet Zeit Online reported on July 27 that toilet paper, cardboard and other products may be unavailable in stores if the supply of Russian natural gas dwindles in the coming months. It quoted Jurgen Schaller, chairman of the board of the Bavarian Paper Associations (BPA).
According to Schaller, the papermaking process requires a lot of water, electricity and gas – the latter being in short supply as of writing. The current technology for paper production is tried and tested and cannot be changed quickly.
"Many employees in my company are already very worried. I can't blame them because if we can only produce 50 or 60 percent, the operation is not worthwhile for us," he said. "To be honest, I worry too."
The Nord Stream 1 (NS1) pipeline, which supplies natural gas to Germany and the European Union (EU), is only operating at 20 percent capacity due to technical issues with gas turbines at the Portovaya compressor station near Russia's border with Finland. One such turbine made by Siemens Energy was taken to the company's facility in Canada for maintenance work.
Russian state-owned energy company Gazprom, which operates the NS1 pipeline, earlier reduced gas flows down to 40 percent capacity. It also declared force majeure for natural gas deliveries, which meant that there is no guarantee that Germany will see additional gas supply in the future. (Related: Russia's Gazprom has cut natural gas flows to Germany by 60% – Western Europe is about to get the "green energy" nightmare it always wanted.)
As an alternative, Gazprom suggested the use of another transit route – via Ukraine – to full capacity. However, the Russian gas firm said it was unable to utilize this route as the besieged country has been rejecting its transit applications.
The BPA chairman's remarks followed a prediction by German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck, who warned of a "severe recession" if NS1 gas flows would dwindle and eventually stop.
"Companies would have to stop production [and] lay off their workers. Supply chains would collapse. People would go into debt to pay their heating bills … [and they] would become poorer," he told German state-owned broadcaster DW.
Habeck, who also serves as the German economy minister, warned of "a kind of Lehman Brothers effect in the energy market" followed by "a domino effect that would lead to a severe recession." His warning referenced the 2008 financial crisis involving the American investment firm, which filed for bankruptcy that year.
Meanwhile, the head of Austria's Directorate General for Public Security (GDfoS) warned of possible riots stemming from energy supply shortages. GDfoS Director Omar Haijawi-Pirchner said on July 28 that he did not rule out the possibility of riots sparking amid the energy collapse in the EU bloc.
"We [have] not seen any riots on the streets yet. But the hatred on the internet has clearly increased," he told Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung.
"Every crisis means that despair for some people can first turn into verbal actions and then even into violence," added Haijawi-Pirchner, who responded to the publication's question about whether the GDfoS is expecting riots come fall.
Visit Collapse.news for more stories about the repercussions of natural gas supply cuts to Germany and other European nations.
Watch this Russia Today report about a German official warning that the country will not survive without Russian gas.
This video is from the Cynthia's Pursuit to Truth channel on Brighteon.com.