When an informal EU summit begins in Prague on Friday, Chancellor Olaf Scholz will be pilloried. Germany is making itself unpopular within the EU with a national strategy against high energy prices.

In the future, eurocrats will have to bring a warm sweater to work – the room temperatures in their Brussels offices will be reduced to energy warfare levels.

But that’s not why Germany’s diplomatic representatives are currently encountering a frosty climate in the conference rooms around the Rue de la Loi. It is Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s 200 billion euro “double boom” that many European partners are reluctant to warm to.

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That is why the German head of government traveled to Prague as a villain in the eyes of some other European state leaders, where the EU leaders first met with other European country representatives and then came together for an informal EU summit on Friday.

National aid packages against the energy price explosion like the German one are the “beginning of cannibalism”, said Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. The Hungarian is a master of off-beat tones, which means that he is largely isolated in the EU.

This time, however, not only numerous other EU countries share his displeasure, but also members of the European Commission. EU Commissioners Thierry Breton and Paolo Gentiloni spoke up in an op-ed that they published in several European media outlets.

The Frenchman and the Italian pleaded for a joint European, possibly debt-financed aid program. The German course raises questions, a subsidy race must be prevented.

The two commissioners expressly pointed out that other European countries lack the budgetary leeway for aid packages comparable to those in Germany.

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The federal government is in debt for the “double boom”. However, she does not want to take the blame for new EU measures on credit with joint liability.

The main accusations against Berlin’s attitude are that it is selfish and hypocritical: On the one hand, the federal government is giving the German economy a competitive advantage with the 200 billion package.

On the other hand, they are preventing at EU level what they are currently introducing in their own country: a gas price cap. Comments along these lines have been piling up in the European press for days. The news portal “Politico” wrote of a German “ego trip”.

The Greek daily Naftemporiki reminded Scholz that as head of government of Europe’s largest economic power, he had a “side job” in addition to his responsibility for his own people: not to undermine the interests of everyone else.

It is particularly bubbling in Italy. Prime Minister Mario Draghi shares his concern with his likely successor, the nationalist Giorgia Meloni, who distrusts Germany anyway, that the Federal Republic could distort the European internal market in its own favour.

The European Commission has yet to review the German 200 billion package. “The word ‘double boom’ is difficult to translate into Italian,” the Süddeutsche Zeitung commented on an article in Italy’s influential newspaper Corriere della Sera, in which Scholz was accused of essentially just “taking care of his own stuff”. take care of.

The “Handelsblatt” observed: “Germany has gambled away the favor of its neighbors.” The CSU economics expert in the EU Parliament, Markus Ferber, complained: “The expensive quick fixes by the traffic light government only cause irritation among European partners.”

But elsewhere there is also shooting. Orban has long been subsidizing the basic needs of its citizens for electricity and petrol, Spain is using a gas price cap, and France is using state dough to mitigate the consequences of the energy price explosion for consumers and small companies.

Germany is not alone in its concerns that a general EU gas price cap could drive suppliers to other customers. At least Austria, Denmark and the Netherlands share them.

But a far larger number of countries are on course for a gas price cap; the EU Commission is hesitant, but increasingly perceptible. Scholz can expect clear words on this at the informal summit.

Decisions could be made at the next regular summit meeting in Brussels in two weeks. The German hope is that “price corridors” will then be defined, not a rigid general upper price limit.

Scholz is getting pressure from his own ranks in Brussels. The head of the SPD MEPs, Jens Geier, called for “a gas price cap for all EU imports” immediately before the informal summit in Prague.

The European Greens have similar ideas at right angles to their own Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck. The head of the German Greens in the European Parliament, Rasmus Andresen, admits about the mixed situation in his party: “We have very different positions on this topic, I don’t want to hide that.”

If Scholz returns from Prague, he could face upheavals in his own domestic coalition in addition to the trouble at EU level.