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QUOTEBOX-Reactions to Germany's move to declare gas alarm stage

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FRANKFURT, June 23 (Reuters) - Germany on Thursday triggered the "alarm stage" of its emergency gas plan following a drop in Russian supplies, but did not allow utilities to pass on soaring costs to consumers for now.

Following are reactions from the government, industry and companies:

GERMAN ECONOMY MINISTER ROBERT HABECK:

"Even if gas volumes can still be procured on the market and are still being stored: The situation is serious and winter will come. We must not fool ourselves: The cut in gas supplies is an economic attack on us by (Russian President Vladimir) Putin. It is obviously Putin's strategy to create insecurity, drive up prices and divide us as a society This is what we are fighting against. But it will be a rocky road that we must now take as a country. Even if you don't feel it yet: we are in a gas crisis. Gas is a scarce commodity from now on. Prices are already high and we have to be prepared for further increases. This will affect industrial production and become a big burden for many consumers. It is an external shock."

WOLFGANG GROSSE ENTRUP, HEAD OF CHEMICALS INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION VCI:

"It is a logical step in order to react to the increasingly serious supply situation and to stabilise the markets. This applies equally to natural gas volumes and skyrocketing prices. The Federal Government is acting responsibly and moving forward step by step. The politically driven reduction of Russian gas supplies poses ever more daunting challenges for society and industry. The associated burdens must be fairly distributed. The Federal Government is working hard on this in consultation with those affected. The aim is to develop a transparent procedure that distributes the unavoidable burdens as fairly and tolerably as possible among all gas consumers."

E.ON, GERMANY'S LARGEST ENERGY FIRM:

"The declaration of the alarm stage does not change the fundamental status quo for the time being. What is decisive is that the Federal Government now creates the necessary framework conditions for the scenario of a significant reduction in gas import volumes in order to ensure the ability of the relevant actors to act and to stabilise the markets and gas supply. In view of the current reduction in Russian gas flows to Germany and the associated uncertainties about future import volumes and wholesale market effects, we consider the German government's decision to declare an alert level to be understandable." (Compiled by Christoph Steitz, Vera Eckert, Hans Seidenstuecker Editing by Tomasz Janowski)