Price increases in Slovakia in recent years have mainly been due to the development on world markets, Slovak Academy of Sciences economist Pavol Karasz told the TASR newswire on August 3.
According to Karasz, in several cases, such as milk or meat products, prices even went down. The price hikes were also due to the government, which failed to regulate monopolies before 2006.
"Consumer prices in Slovakia went up more rapidly than in the EU 15 before 2006 because its regulating ability wasn't as mature," said Karasz. He added that the Slovak economy wasn't able to compensate for the rise in oil prices since 2000. "Consumer prices in the EU 15 went up by 2 percent over 2000-2006, while in Slovakia the rise reached 4-12 percent," he said.
Among the significant causes of more rapid price increases were a higher demand for energy, which has to be reduced in the future, Karasz said.
"During the Dzurinda administration, the Regulatory Office for Network Industries (ÚRSO) failed to regulate energy prices effectively. Households had to pay more for electricity than in the EU 15 and the companies made huge profits," Karasz explained.
The opposition KDH party slammed Robert Fico's government on August 1 for soaring prices in Slovakia despite its attempts to regulate them. But Finance Minister Ján Počiatek rejected the criticism as “hypocritical,” saying that the governments of which KDH was part between 1998-2006 increased natural gas prices by almost 600 percent, electricity charges by 400 percent, and heat prices by 320 percent. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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