A German bakery was slapped with a €330,000 (US$330,000) gas bill after a new energy company suddenly terminated their contract which guaranteed pricing until the end of 2023, Junge Freiheit reported, citing Bild.
"Are they crazy?" said owner Eckehard Vatter, who says he has 14 days to pay the bill. "A year ago, we paid €5,856 per month in gas costs for our large furnaces and heating," he added.
Vatter said his new energy supplier hasn't given him a reason for the 1,200% price increase.
What's more, since Vatter's bakery is considered a 'craft business' under commercial law, he can't receive any support from the state. He claims to have paid €19.9 million in taxes in recent years, according to ReMix.
Almost three weeks ago we noted that shocked Europeans had been posting viral photos of absurdly high energy bills.
Days later, the German government announced a €65 billion relief package to cushion citizens and companies from skyrocketing energy costs. The agreement, which brings total relief to almost 100 billion euros since the start of the Ukraine war, was agreed upon by Germany's three-way ruling coalition of Scholz's Social Democrats, the Greens, and the liberal FDP.
Among the headline measures are one-off payments to millions of vulnerable pensioners and a plan to skim off energy firms' windfall profits. In short, creeping nationalization of the energy sector.
And a couple days after that package was announced, Economy Minister Robert Habeck promised to help small and medium businesses.
"We will open a wide rescue umbrella," he said during a Sept. 8 speech in Berlin. "We will open it widely so that small and medium enterprises can come under it."
Unless you're a bakery classified as a 'craft business.'
Who could have seen this coming?