The Parliamentary Committee for Economic Policy has discussed legislative measures which the government’s cabinet approved last week in reaction to the natural gas crisis that Slovakia experienced at the beginning of the year.
The head of the sales division of the gas utility Slovenský Plynárenský Priemysel (SPP) Dušan Randuška said that these measures would represent an enormous financial burden on gas traders.
“In the case of our company, it will represent several hundred million euros. Who will pay for it?” asked Randuška.
Vice-chair of the opposition SDKÚ-DS and the head of the parliamentary energy committee Stanislav Janis does not like these measures, either. He thinks that the measures have been drafted hastily. In his opinion, everybody in Europe who has been affected is starting to cautiously analyze the matter, however, only Slovakia wants to amend three laws without any discussions. Moreover, the financial aspect of the solution is missing. That is why he says he will do his best to prevent the bills from being adopted.
But Economy Ministry State Secretary Peter Žiga explained that the legislative measures approved by the cabinet were aimed at giving the state authority to enter the process during any gas crisis in the future.
“If there is a gas crisis, the state should have powers to influence the process. That is all we want. We have to be ready even for the situation if Russians stopped gas supplies tomorrow,” Žiga said, defending the need for fast approval of the legislative measures.
On January 28, the cabinet passed its first draft legislative measures linked to the gas crisis. Economy Minister Ľubomír Jahnátek said that these amendments put the state in a better position to face any gas crisis that may emerge in the future. Under these measures operators of underground gas storage reservoirs will be required to hold a minimum 30-day supply of natural gas. SITA
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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3. Feb 2009 at 10:00