Help for Steel and Aluminum Companies due to Energy Prices
- 21 Sep 2023 8:00 am CET
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The Swiss Federal Council is opposed to a motion that would provide support to the steel and aluminium industry due to rising energy prices. The motion was passed by the National Council with 119 votes in favour, 56 against and 14 abstentions. The motion was proposed by Roberto Zanetti (SP/SO) and argued that due to the high energy prices, the margins of the industry had drastically decreased, making it difficult for the companies to cover their production and labour costs. It was also noted that the Swiss companies were at a disadvantage compared to their foreign competitors, as they did not receive any support. Cédric Wermuth (SP/AG) highlighted that the Swiss recycle 100% of their aluminium and steel scrap, and that it would not make sense to import steel and aluminium instead. He also pointed out that other industries had been supported in recent times, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that it was not fair to not provide the same support to the steel and aluminium industry. The Federal Council, however, argued that the motion would create new dependencies and that the prices had already stabilised. They also argued that other industries were affected by the higher prices and that the motion would lead to an unequal treatment. Economy Minister Parmelin concluded that the motion was a “false good idea” and that the state could not compensate for all the advantages and disadvantages in competition.