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Who profits from Pipeline Terror?

Who profits from Pipeline Terror?

Secret talks between Russia and Germany to resolve their Nord Stream 1 and 2 issues had to be averted at any cost
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The War of Economic Corridors has entered incandescent, uncharted territory: Pipeline Terror.

A sophisticated military operation – that required exhaustive planning, possibly involving several actors – blew up four separate sections of the Nord Stream (NS) and Nord Stream 2 (NS2) gas pipelines this week in the shallow waters of the Danish straits, in the Baltic Sea, near the island of Bornholm.

Swedish seismologists estimated that the power of the explosions may have reached the equivalent of up to 700 kg of TNT. Both NS and NS2, near the strong currents around Borholm, are placed at the bottom of the sea at a depth of 60 meters.

The pipes are built with steel reinforced concrete, able to withstand impact from aircraft carrier anchors, and are basically indestructible without serious explosive charges. The operation – causing two leaks near Sweden and two near Denmark – would have to be carried out by modified underwater drones.

Every crime implies motive. The Russian government wanted – at least up to the sabotage – to sell oil and natural gas to the EU. The notion that Russian intel would destroy Gazprom pipelines is beyond ludicrous. All they had to do was to turn off the valves. NS2 was not even operational, based on a political decision from Berlin. The gas flow in NS was hampered by western sanctions. Moreover, such an act would imply Moscow losing key strategic leverage over the EU.

Diplomatic sources confirm that Berlin and Moscow were involved in a secret negotiation to solve both the NS and NS2 issues. So they had to be stopped – no holds barred. Geopolitically, the entity that had the motive to halt a deal holds anathema a possible alliance in the horizon between Germany, Russia, and China.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Lights out, ovens off: Europe preps for winter energy crisis

ADDING FULL NAME OF BUSINESS  An employee pushes bread rolls into one of the gas heated ovens in the producing facility in Cafe Ernst in Neu Isenburg, Germany, Monday, Sept. 19, 2022. Andreas Schmitt, head of the local bakers' guild, said some small bakeries are contemplating giving up due to the energy crisis. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
An employee pushes bread rolls into one of the gas heated ovens in the producing facility in Cafe Ernst in Neu Isenburg, Germany, Monday, Sept. 19, 2022. Andreas Schmitt, head of the local bakers’ guild, said some small bakeries are contemplating giving up due to the energy crisis. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — As Europe heads into winter in the throes of an energy crisis, offices are getting chillier. Statues and historic buildings are going dark. Bakers who can’t afford to heat their ovens are talking about giving up, while fruit and vegetable growers face letting greenhouses stand idle.

In poorer eastern Europe, people are stocking up on firewood, while in wealthier Germany, the wait for an energy-saving heat pump can take half a year. And businesses don’t know how much more they can cut back.

“We can’t turn off the lights and make our guests sit in the dark,” said Richard Kovacs, business development manager for Hungarian burger chain Zing Burger. The restaurants already run the grills no more than necessary and use motion detectors to turn off lights in storage, with some stores facing a 750% increase in electricity bills since the beginning of the year.

With costs high and energy supplies tight, Europe is rolling out relief programs and plans to shake up electricity and natural gas markets as it prepares for rising energy use this winter. The question is whether it will be enough to avoid government-imposed rationing and rolling blackouts after Russia cut back natural gas needed to heat homes, run factories and generate electricity to a tenth of what it was before invading Ukraine.

Europe’s dependence on Russian energy has turned the war into an energy and economic crisis, with prices rising to record highs in recent months and fluctuating wildly.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Apparent Sabotage Disables Nord Stream 1 and 2, Cutting Off All Direct Gas Supply to Germany from Russia

Apparent Sabotage Disables Nord Stream 1 and 2, Cutting Off All Direct Gas Supply to Germany from Russia

Anonymous German officials appear to acknowledge the strong possibility of American or NATO involvement

Yesterday evening, pressure in the undersea Nord Stream 2 pipeline suddenly collapsed, and gas could be seen bubbling to the surface of the Baltic Sea near the Danish island of Bornholm. Shortly afterwards, reports came of a total collapse in the pressure of our other major undersea pipeline connection to Russia, Nord Stream 1, indicating a further rupture.

Government officials assume that the damage is intentional, and the result of an attack by foreign forces:

Due to the timing, the fact that three separate pipelines were affected1, and the severe pressure losses in Nord Stream 1, officials expect the worst. “We can no longer imagine any scenario other than a targeted attack,” said a person privy to the assessment by the federal government and federal authorities. They added: “Everything speaks against a coincidence.”

Such an attack on the seabed would be anything but trivial; it would have to be carried out with special forces – for example, by navy divers or a submarine, people informed of initial assessments said.

With regard to responsibility for the alleged attacks, two possibilities are being discussed. First, according to initial speculation, Ukrainian or Ukrainian-affiliated forces could be responsible. With the temporary shutdown of the Nord Stream pipelines, gas deliveries from Russia to Germany and Central Europe would only be possible via the Yamal pipelinje running through Poland or the Ukrainian pipeline network.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Damage To Nord Stream Pipelines “Unprecedented;” May Have Been ‘Sabotaged’

Damage To Nord Stream Pipelines “Unprecedented;” May Have Been ‘Sabotaged’

Update (0842ET):

Sweden’s government held a crisis management meeting with other public authorities over the damage to the Nord Stream pipeline system, Swedish daily newspaper Aftonbaldet said, citing comments from Foreign Minister Ann Linde.

Linde said Sweden may discuss the pipeline damage with Denmark later today.

Denmark is tightening security around all energy assets as some European officials speculate the NS pipeline system was sabotaged.

* * *

The plot thickens about what caused damage to three lines of the Nord Stream gas-pipeline system under the Baltic Sea to Europe as some European officials now suspect sabotage.

Nord Stream AG, the operator of the NS pipeline system, published a statement Tuesday that read, “the destruction that happened within one day at three lines of the Nord Stream pipeline system is unprecedented … and impossible now to estimate the timeframe for restoring operations of the gas shipment infrastructure.”

On Monday, NS2 gas pipeline and two NS1 lines reported rapid pressure drops, with gas leaks reported by Swedish and Danish authorities in the Baltic Sea near the exclusive economic zone southeast of Bornholm island.

A more in-depth view of the incident area.

Pressure drops in the NS gas-pipeline system could be the biggest signal that flows via NS1 might not resume this winter. Germany and surrounding countries are investigating the incident. NS2 cannot impact flows to the EU because the controversial idled conduit was never operational after German Chancellor Olaf Scholz canceled it after Russia invaded Ukraine earlier this year.

Klaus Mueller, the president of the German energy network regulator, tweeted that the market situation remains “tense,” but Germany and the EU are no longer dependent on NS supplies.

Nord Stream AG issued an outage message that is active until Oct. 26, while the German economy ministry said it’s investigating the incident.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Apparent Sabotage Disables Nord Stream 1 and 2, Cutting Off All Direct Gas Supply to Germany from Russia

Apparent Sabotage Disables Nord Stream 1 and 2, Cutting Off All Direct Gas Supply to Germany from Russia

Anonymous German officials appear to acknowledge the strong possibility of American or NATO involvement

Yesterday evening, pressure in the undersea Nord Stream 2 pipeline suddenly collapsed, and gas could be seen bubbling to the surface of the Baltic Sea near the Danish island of Bornholm. Shortly afterwards, reports came of a total collapse in the pressure of our other major undersea pipeline connection to Russia, Nord Stream 1, indicating a further rupture.

Government officials assume that the damage is intentional, and the result of an attack by foreign forces:

Due to the timing, the fact that three separate pipelines were affected1, and the severe pressure losses in Nord Stream 1, officials expect the worst. “We can no longer imagine any scenario other than a targeted attack,” said a person privy to the assessment by the federal government and federal authorities. They added: “Everything speaks against a coincidence.”

Such an attack on the seabed would be anything but trivial; it would have to be carried out with special forces – for example, by navy divers or a submarine, people informed of initial assessments said.

With regard to responsibility for the alleged attacks, two possibilities are being discussed. First, according to initial speculation, Ukrainian or Ukrainian-affiliated forces could be responsible. With the temporary shutdown of the Nord Stream pipelines, gas deliveries from Russia to Germany and Central Europe would only be possible via the Yamal pipelinje running through Poland or the Ukrainian pipeline network.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Germany nationalizes its biggest natural gas importer

Germany is nationalizing Uniper, its biggest importer of natural gas, as part of an €8 billion ($7.9 billion) plan to prevent an energy shortage this winter.

Europe has been hit by soaring natural gas and electricity prices as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its throttling of gas supplies.

The German government will hold around 99% of Uniper after injecting new capital and buying out its Finnish parent company Fortum (FOJCF), German Economy Minister Robert Habeck told journalists in Berlin on Wednesday.

Uniper provides 40% of the country’s gas supply and is crucial for large companies and private consumers in Europe’s biggest economy.

In July, Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced the government would step in to bail out Uniper with a package worth up to €15 billion ($15.3 billion), after it was brought to its knees by months of Russian supply cuts and soaring spot market prices.

Under the rescue deal, the government committed to provide €7.7 billion ($7.8 billion) to cover potential future losses, while state-run bank KfW agreed to increase its credit facility by €7 billion ($7.1 billion).

But Habeck said the situation had “worsened dramatically” since Russia cut off gas supplies to Europe through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline indefinitely on September 1, citing an oil leak.

Russian gas has had to be substituted with costly alternatives, leading to soaring bills for consumers.

Although gas supplies through Nord Stream 1 are suspended, Germany’s gas reserves are filled at more than 90% capacity, European Storage provider GIE AGSI+ said on its website.

Still, the European energy crisis isn’t going away.

Habeck said that the country could “get through winter well” without Russian gas, but warned of “really empty” supply levels in the period thereafter.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Germany To Nationalize Struggling Uniper In Deepening Energy Crisis

Germany To Nationalize Struggling Uniper In Deepening Energy Crisis

Germany on Wednesday announced a move to nationalize struggling natural gas supplier Uniper SE as it strives to keep the industry functioning in the wake of a global energy crisis, according to Reuters.

Uniper is Germany’s largest importer of Russian NatGas and has suffered tremendous losses after Russian energy giant Gazprom slashed Nord Stream 1’s pipeline capacity to zero, forcing the utility to purchase natgas outside contracts on the open market at record high prices.

Berlin agreed to purchase the remaining stake owned by Uniper’s parent company, Finnish utility Fortum Oyj for  $1.69 (1.70 euro) per share. Buying Fortum’s stake means Germany will own 99% of Uniper. The cost of nationalization comes as Berlin is set to inject 8 billion euros, equivalent to around $8 billion, into the utility.

The move is to keep the lights on across German homes and businesses as the risk of power rationings increases.

“This step has become necessary because the situation has worsened significantly.

 “The state will do everything necessary to keep systemically important companies in Germany stable at all times,” Robert Habeck, Germany’s economy minister, said Wednesday.

Uniper shares crashed by as much as 39% to 2.55 euros. Shares are down 93% on the year…

In July, Berlin injected a whooping 15 billion euros ($14.95 billion) to save the utility though the move to nationalize ahead of winter shows further deterioration in energy security for Europe’s largest economy.

Here’s what Markus Rauramo, CEO and President of Fortum, said about the deal:

“Under the current circumstances in the European energy markets and recognising the severity of Uniper’s situation, the divestment of Uniper is the right step to take, not only for Uniper but also for Fortum.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Angry Customers Demand Explanation As German Energy Bills Soar

Angry Customers Demand Explanation As German Energy Bills Soar

Utilities in Germany have had to handle a surge in customer service calls in recent weeks from clients angry or desperate about their sky-rocketing energy bills, Reuters reports.

The biggest utility, E.ON, has ramped up its capacity to handle calls from consumers who are shocked to find just how much their energy bills have surged in recent months.

Gas prices in Europe are very high and power prices in many countries, including Germany, have hit record levels this summer after Russia choked pipeline gas supply to Europe and shut down indefinitely the key gas export pipeline to Germany, Nord Stream, at the beginning of this month.

“Some become aggressive out of frustration, others are in tears and need psychological support,” Ingbert Liebing, head of local utilities organization VKU, told Reuters, commenting on the spike in customer calls to utilities’ service centers.

Apart from already high energy bills, German customers will have a surcharge as of October, as part of a government plan to implement a so-called gas levy on consumers in order to help struggling energy firms.

Germany has recently announced it would impose a gas levy on consumers from October 1 through March 2024 as it aims to help energy providers and importers of natural gas, which are struggling with low Russian gas supply and very expensive alternatives to Russian gas. The new natural gas tax is set to cost German families, who will have to foot the bill for the tax, an extra $500 a year.

Meanwhile, the German government is in talks with the biggest German importer of natural gas, Uniper, to potentially lift its 30% stake in the company to majority participation or to nationalize the firm…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Germany’s energy suicide: an autopsy

Germany’s energy suicide: an autopsy

When Green fanatic Robert Habeck, posing as Germany’s Economy Minister, said earlier this week “we should expect the worst” in terms of energy security, he conveniently forgot to spell out how the whole farce is a Made in Germany cum Made in Brussels crisis.

Flickers of intelligence at least still glow in rare Western latitudes, as indispensable strategic analyst William Engdahl, author of A Century of Oil, released a sharp, concise summary revealing the skeletons in the glamour closet.

Everyone with a brain following the ghastly Eurocrat machinations in Brussels was aware of the main plot – yet hardly anyone among average EU citizens. Habeck, Chancellor “Liver Sausage” Scholz, the European Commission (EC) Green Energy VP Timmermans, EC dominatrix Ursula von der Leyen, they are all involved.

In a nutshell: as Engdahl describes it, this is about “the EU plan to de-industrialize one of the most energy-efficient industrial concentrations on the planet.”

That’s a practical translation of the UN Green Agenda 2030 – which happens to be metastasized into crypto Bond villain Klaus Schwab’s Great Reset – now renamed “Great Narrative”.

The whole scam started way back in the early 2000s: I remember it vividly, as Brussels used to be my European base in the early “war on terror” years.

At the time, the talk of the town was the “European energy policy”. The dirty secret of such policy is that the EC, “ advised” by JP MorganChase as well as the usual mega speculative hedge funds, went all out into what Engdahl describes as “a complete deregulation of the European market for natural gas.”

That was sold to the Lugenpresse (“lying media”) as “liberalization”. In practice, that’s savage, unregulated casino capitalism, with the “free” market fixing prices while dumping long-term contracts – such as the ones struck with Gazprom.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“Exorbitant Rise In Energy Prices” Forces Europe’s Top Steelmaker To Close Plants

“Exorbitant Rise In Energy Prices” Forces Europe’s Top Steelmaker To Close Plants

Even though European power and natural gas prices have subsided this week, Germany, the largest economy in the bloc, still faces historically high energy costs that have forced cuts in industrial output.

The latest example is the world’s largest steelmaker, ArcelorMittal, which released a statement Friday about shutting down two plants and idling one.

Europe’s top steelmaker said two plants in Germany (one in Bremen and the other in Hamburg) would be partially closed at the end of September. A plant in Asturias, Spain, will also be idled.

ArcelorMittal blamed the coming smelter shutdowns on “the exorbitant rise in energy prices,” which is devastatingly impacting the company’s “competitiveness of steel production.” The decision to reduce metal output was also based on “weak market demand and a negative economic outlook” as energy hyperinflation risks sending Europe into a deep recession.

“As an energy-intensive industry, we are extremely affected. With gas and electricity prices increasing tenfold within just a few months, we are no longer competitive in a market that is 25% supplied by imports,” explained Reiner Blaschek, CEO of ArcelorMittal Germany. 

Blaschek asked lawmakers to address the historic energy crisis and get prices “under control immediately.” Elevated prices this summer have resulted in a series of smelter closures from other metal-producing companies because high energy costs made production uneconomical.

In Germany, one of every six industrial companies feels forced to reduce production due to high energy prices, a survey by the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce, DIHK, showed at the end of July. Nearly a quarter of the companies forced to reduce production had already done so by end-July, and another one-quarter are in the process of scaling back production due to sky-high energy prices, according to the survey of 3,500 companies from all sectors and regions in Germany.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

German Consumers Just Learned How Much Extra They Will Have To Pay For Gas This Winter

German Consumers Just Learned How Much Extra They Will Have To Pay For Gas This Winter

With millions of German facing a painful freeze in the coming months, a winter gas surcharge, which will come into effect in October for German households and businesses, was set at 2.4 euro cents per kilowatt hour on Monday, DW reported on Monday.

Gas prices have been driven by German sanctions on Russian gas, prompting market concerns about energy security and also shortfalls in deliveries in some cases.  And while so far, consumers have been largely shielded from the increases, with companies unable to pass on their increased costs, all that is about to change. 

“It will get more expensive — there is no getting around that. Energy prices continue to rise. But: we are already unburdening citizens to the tune of €30 billion,” Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Twitter on Monday, soon after the announcement. “And we are working on a further relief package. We will leave nobody alone with these increased costs.” 

The decision on the amount of the levy fell to the company charged with overseeing and coordinating the German gas market, Trading Hub Europe.  The stated aim of the levy is to cover around 90% of the additional costs incurred by gas providers who are now paying higher prices to secure gas, in some cases from new sources other than Russia.

Just under half of German households are heated using gas, the most popular method by far in the country. German dependence on Russian gas has become notorious this year amid the war in Ukraine, both for household power and for industry.

Government seeks sales tax exemption

Finance Minister Christian Lindner has already said he aims to soften the blow by appealing in Brussels for the right to waive sales tax on the new gas levy…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

German Officials Warn Of Draconian Energy Regulations, “Extremists” Fueling “Mass Protests And Riots”

German Officials Warn Of Draconian Energy Regulations, “Extremists” Fueling “Mass Protests And Riots”

As queries for “firewood” have exploded on Google in Germany, and Deutsche Bank predicting that “wood will be used for heating purposes where possible,” German officials are now warning of extreme energy rationing measures, along with the potential for “extremists” to fuel national unrest over the deteriorating situation.

For starters, German Economy Minister and Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck – who previously called on residents to cut back on heating, visits to the sauna, and showers – announced on Friday that public buildings across the country won’t be allowed to set heating above 19 degrees Celsius (66.2F) this fall. Exceptions will be made for hospitals and ‘social facilities.’

In an interview with Suddeutsche Zeitung, one of the country’s largest daily newspapers, Habeck said that the new regulations would be part of the Energy Security Act – adding to previously announced bans on heating private pools.

In addition, buildings and monuments will not longer be lit at night, and there will be curbs on illuminated advertising – while “more savings are also needed in the work environment,” he added.

Habeck’s announcement comes just days after the head of Germany’s grid regulator, Klaus Mueller, said that German families would need to cut 20% of their normal energy consumption in order to avoid gas shortages by December.

“If we don’t save a lot and get extra fuel, we will have a problem,” he told Welt am Sonntag in an interview last week.

The situation has been brewing, as the bloc’s reliance on Russian energy comes into conflict with sanctions over Russia’s war in Ukraine – causing prices to skyrocket amid a decrease in Russian natural gas supplies to Europe.

Meanwhile, German officials are preparing for civil unrest.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Germany’s Industrial Heartland Faces Crisis As Rhine River May Become Impassable By Friday

Germany’s Industrial Heartland Faces Crisis As Rhine River May Become Impassable By Friday

Water levels on the Rhine River are nearing dangerously low levels, and new forecasts expect Europe’s most critical waterway for inland commodity shipments via barges could be impassable by the end of the week.

The river at Kaub, Germany, is 47 centimeters (18.5 inches) on Wednesday and is expected to drop to the critical depth of 40 centimeters (15.7 inches) by Friday, according to the German Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration. There is even the possibility water levels could fall as low as 37 centimeters (14.5 inches) during the weekend.

Below 40 centimeters would mean barges at the key transit point in Germany would no longer be able to pass and restrict shipments of energy products and other commodities along Europe’s most crucial waterway amid the worst energy shortage in decades.

In the next couple of days, if forecasts are correct, Germany’s industrial heartland may risk a repeat of the disruption seen during the river’s historical low in 2018. Rhine River becoming impassible would certainly exacerbate Europe’s ongoing energy crisis.

The Rhine snakes about 800 miles (1,300 kilometers) from the Swiss Alps through Europe’s largest industrial areas and has already dented cargo shipments for chemicals giant BASF SE, steelmaker ThyssenKrupp AG, and utility Uniper SE. Bloomberg lists the most exposed companies to low Rhine River levels:

Uniper warned low water levels have reduced barge coal shipments to a major power plant. The utility said its 510-megawatt Staudinger-5 coal-fired power plant had seen fewer and fewer barge shipments of coal due to dwindling low water levels that could soon result in “irregular operation.”

Bloomberg outlines the most transported goods on the waterway. If water levels fall below 40 centimeters, companies must use rail and trucking for transportation.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Green technocracy’s dirty secret

Green technocracy’s dirty secret

Germany is in trouble.  The IMF has revised its projected growth figures down to just 1.2 percent for 2022.  Even this may prove to be optimistic now that gas imports from Russia have dropped to just 20 percent of what was anticipated prior to the EU sanctions.  With autumn approaching, German industry is anticipating power outages while the population looks forward to food and energy shortages.

The cuts in gas supplies – resulting, apparently, from Canada refusing to return essential turbines following repair – mean that Germany has no chance of building up its gas storage before winter arrives.  And, of course, it is possible that the Russian state will use this moment of weakness to cut supplies even further.  After all, most of the future gas which would have gone to Europe has since been sold to Asian states instead.

Inevitably then, German – and western – media outlets will spend much of the winter talking about “Putin’s energy cuts.”  In reality, it is the European technocracy and its puppet politicians who bear the greater responsibility.  After all, it is they who have spent the last three decades leaving Europe vulnerable to precisely this kind of supply shock.  As Lea Booth at Quillette argues:

“The truth is that the Energiewende was doomed to fail from the start. Germany bet big on solar and wind and shut down their nuclear plants when they should have forgone renewables and expanded their nuclear energy program instead. Germany’s anti-nuclear ideology is so rigid that they closed three nuclear plants in December 2021, despite the global energy crisis, and plan to close their last three nuclear plants this December, despite Russia’s energy extortion.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

German Oil Refiner Observes “Run” On Diesel & Heating Oil, Halts Deliveries

German Oil Refiner Observes “Run” On Diesel & Heating Oil, Halts Deliveries

The latest sign Europe’s energy problems are worsening is that Austrian oil and gas firm OMV AG halted crude product deliveries from storage facilities in Germany amid a “run” on supplies, Bloomberg reported.

OMV Germany said two storage facilities in the southern part of the country “are observing a current run on heating oil and … this is possibly due to crisis-driven market shortages and thus excessive speculation and stockpiling.”

“In order to secure supplies in the short and medium term, loading will now be temporarily suspended until the Burghausen refinery has resumed production,” OMV said in an emailed response, adding Burghausen and Feldkirchen’s storage facilities will restart deliveries on Aug. 15.

A combination of issues has led to diesel and heating oil in southern Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

  • First is the energy disruption due to Western sanctions on Russia.
  • Second OMV’s Burghausen refinery maintenance.
  • And third, falling water levels on the Rhine River have reduced deliveries of crude product shipments from the North Sea.

The panic hoarding of diesel and heating fuel likely comes from utilities who have had to switch the type of power generation from natural gas to other crude products due to capacity constraints on the Nord Stream 1.

German power prices have soared to a new record of more than 400 euros per megawatt-hour on the European Energy Exchange on Thursday on the prospects of a worsening energy crisis.

With Brent crude prices tumbling below $100 a barrel, it appears the paper oil market is out of touch with the tightness reality of physical markets. 

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