Media: Europeans Start Stealing Firewood Out of Fear of Winter

Media: Europeans Start Stealing Firewood Out of Fear of Winter

WP: Europeans are getting desperate for winter and have started stealing scarce firewood

Europeans are becoming increasingly desperate as winter approaches, with some regions already seeing a shortage of firewood and firewood theft, the Washington Post reports.

“In Britain, cash-strapped residents are abandoning their pets and schools are being warned that they can no longer afford to buy new textbooks because of rising energy prices. In Poland, officials are already considering handing out reusable smoke masks as it is likely that Poles will have to burn rubbish in winter to keep warm,” the article says.

In several European countries there is already a shortage and soaring prices for “fuel of last resort” – firewood, the author writes. Moreover, logs are stolen directly from truck platforms; fake websites have been put up on the Internet where fraudsters sell non-existent firewood.

One of the most affected countries was Germany. Jörg Mertens, a resident of Munich, was shocked by an August electricity bill which had gone up by 70%. “I am scared,” admitted the German, who is forced to live on a single pension because of a serious illness. Mertens noted that after paying the electricity and heating bills he will have only about 365 euros left for food, medicine and travel.

In the current situation, the pensioner is forced to choose whether to save on food, personal hygiene products or winter shoes. “When I think about it, it’s like a heat wave hits me and I find it hard to breathe,” he added.

Berlin chimney sweep Norbert Schkrobek, whose services have surged in demand as Germans become concerned about maintaining and restoring wood-burning cookers, is sceptical.

“I am sure that some people will be carried out of their homes this winter,” he said.

Berlin scholar Winzenz Schönfelder is extremely unhappy that Germany has found itself in the midst of a fight between Washington and Moscow.

“The sanctions have not helped to end the conflict, they have not significantly weakened Russia,” he said. – But they have dealt a really heavy blow to Germany.

Meanwhile, the Americans, Schoenfelder noted, “are watching from a comfortable distance.

According to analyst Christoph Butterwegge, by winter many German households will be giving up 20-30% of their income to pay for electricity, spurring a rise in energy poverty.

“There will be many poor people who will have to decide whether to starve or freeze,” Butterwegge warned.

Western countries have faced rising energy prices and a spike in inflation because of sanctions against Moscow and a move away from Russian fuel. Against the backdrop of higher fuel prices, especially gas, industry in Europe has largely lost its competitive edge, which has also affected other areas of the economy. The US and European states are also experiencing the highest inflation rate in decades.

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