German bakery owner devastated as his gas bill soars by 1,200%

German bakery owner devastated as his gas bill soars by 1,200%

Monthly energy bill of a bakery in Germany rises from $5,856 to $75,000, putting it at risk of closing down

BERLIN (AA) - The gas bill of a bakery in Germany increased by more than 1,200% amid a worsening energy crisis in the country.

The managing director of the Vatter bakery told local media that he was shocked when he received the new gas bill, showing that his monthly bill has risen to €75,000 ($75,000).

"A year ago, it was €5,856 a month for our large ovens and heating. We had a contract with a price guarantee until the end of 2023, but it was suddenly terminated,” Eckehard Vatter, the owner of the family-run business, told Bild daily.

The supplier is now demanding €75,000 a month, and it is an increase of 1,200%, he noted.

The last gas bill for the company amounts to €330,000 for four-and-a-half months, payable in the next 14 days.

The Vatter bakery chain has 35 stores and 430 employees in the northern state of Lower Saxony.

Eckehard Vatter said the family business has weathered every crisis since 1955, but things have never been as bad as they are now.

He also criticized the government for failing to protect them.

As the bakery has several branches, it is considered a craft enterprise, and unlike industrial bakeries that produce cheap bread, it does not receive any subsidies. Yet the company has paid €19.9 million in taxes over the past 10 years, according to its owner.

Skyrocketing energy prices, exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, are fueling panic among many German small- and medium-sized enterprises.

On Wednesday, hundreds of bakery owners and employees protested in downtown Hanover to draw attention to their worsening situation.

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