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Uniper employees complain about the “hard cuts” required for the German bailout

origin 1An overview of the energy supplier Uniper in the atrium of the company’s headquarters. Oliver Berg/dpa

Employee representatives of ailing German energy importer Uniper said the European Commission’s conditions for a massive state bailout package would lead to “harsh cuts” at the company.

The German government has spent months trying to avert the collapse of Uniper as it struggles with high energy costs caused by the war in Ukraine and Moscow has subsequently cut gas supplies to Europe.

The EU executive is granting 34.5 billion euros ($36.6 billion) in German state aid for Uniper as part of a far-reaching nationalization plan approved by shareholders this week.

The move keeps Uniper afloat and allows it to continue supplying its customers and avoid major disruption to the German gas market.

But for competitive reasons, Uniper will have to sell parts of its business that accounted for a significant portion of its earnings, the commission said.

This includes in particular: the Datteln IV power station; the Gönyu plant in Hungary; Uniper Wärme in the Ruhr area; and a number of international subsidiaries by the end of 2026.

Harald Seegatz, chairman of the Uniper works council, told dpa that news of the cuts will be “particularly painful for affected colleagues” as it comes just days before Christmas.

Seegatz said the company must treat exiting employees with dignity and make the transition as smooth as possible. Furthermore, you said that Uniper should use this “deserved” help to improve its prospects in the future.