In late August, Russia stopped the flow of gas through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to the European Union at short notice, citing maintenance concerns. For German officials, who since July had already been reckoning with Russia’s reduction of the supply of gas through the pipeline, the prospect of an energy crisis took on new urgency. Speaking about the rise in energy prices, the Green politician Robert Habeck, Germany’s vice chancellor and economy and climate minister, acknowledged that consumers would feel the sting: “One doesn’t know exactly how much [gas] will cost in November, but the bitter news is that it’s definitely a few hundred euros per household.”
Alternative for Germany (AfD), the country’s populist far-right political party, jumped on Habeck’s comments. “You’re paying for his failure!” read one post on the party’s Facebook page, the text superimposed over a photo of a grave-faced Habeck. Party leaders piled…
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