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Germany may shut hospitals due to energy crisis, warns health minister

Medical staff working at a ward in a clinic in Darmstadt, Germany, May 11, 2021. (Photo by Reuters)

A significant number of hospitals in Germany may face closures amid rising energy costs and soaring inflation in the country, German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach warned on Sunday.

"The hospitals are in a very special situation. If we do not react quickly and really drastically, there will be closures," Lauterbach said in an interview with the Berlin-based independent ARD broadcaster.

Lauterbach hoped to raise funds to aid the hospitals and clinics that were in dire financial straits. He said he would discuss the problem with German Finance Minister Christian Lindner on Tuesday.

However, Lauterbach admitted for the time that the crisis-stricken government had no solution to the simmering energy crisis.

"We cannot create separate special funds for each sphere," Lauterbach asserted.

In recent weeks, people have gathered in many cities across Germany, including Berlin, to protest soaring energy and commodity prices, and denounce their government's stance on the Ukraine conflict.

Western countries have increased sanctions on Russia since Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine on February 24.

Disruption in supply chains has led to higher energy and cost of living prices across the European Union, driving inflation to record levels and causing overall public dissatisfaction.

Protests have been held across EU members states against the unprecedented inflation and the rising costs of living caused by the West's sanctions

Protesters demand that EU officials take appropriate measures to resolve the crises and lift Russian sanctions.

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