Slovakia to join IEA at the beginning of 2007 at the latest

SLOVAKIA should join the International Energy Agency (IEA) at the beginning of next year at the latest, Economy Minister Jirko Malchárek told a news conference following his meeting with IEA Director Claud Mandil on March 27.

The conditions that Slovakia must meet before entering the IEA include statistical reporting on the balance of fuels, electricity and heat and emergency supplies of crude oil.

At the press conference Mandil presented the document "Slovakia's Energy Policy Review 2005 - IEA," which is one of the chief and final conditions for Slovakia's IEA entry.

According to this document the energy situation in Slovakia has undergone some very positive changes. "Slovakia has implemented impressive energy reforms recently, a unique performance in central and eastern Europe," Mandil stated.

Despite its progress, the country still has work to do, the IEA director said. "The Slovak government should improve energy efficiency, diversify energy sources and open the energy market. We believe that Slovakia will soon meet the conditions for IEA membership," Mandil said.

According to an IEA analysis Slovak households still spend 10-15 percent of their income on energy compared to 6 percent in Germany, the Pravda daily wrote.

The IEA is a specialized agency of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. It focuses on improving the structure of global energy supplies and demands, efficient energy use and the development of alternative energy sources. The body currently has 26 members.

Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports
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