Slovak PM says excise tax on diesel will drop by 9 cents; protests expand

The excise tax on diesel fuel should drop by 9 cents per litre by the end of January according to the message presented by Prime Minister Robert Fico at a briefing on Monday, January 11, following a meeting with representatives of employers, unions, transporters, the Slovnaft refinery and the ministries of finance and transportation, the TASR newswire wrote.

The excise tax on diesel fuel should drop by 9 cents per litre by the end of January according to the message presented by Prime Minister Robert Fico at a briefing on Monday, January 11, following a meeting with representatives of employers, unions, transporters, the Slovnaft refinery and the ministries of finance and transportation, the TASR newswire wrote.

“We plan to lower the excise tax on diesel from its current €0.481 to €0.391 per litre, which would in effect bring diesel prices down from €1.14 to €1.01 per litre,” said Fico, as quoted by TASR.

The PM said implementing such a step will cost the state €100 million. A portion of this drop in revenues is planned to be covered by downsizing the number of ministries from 16 to 14, with the rest saved by the government's planned reduction of its operational expenses. As a result, the proposed change should not impact the government’s planned deficit, according to Fico.

The cabinet will discuss the required legislative amendments at an extraordinary session on Friday and plans to introduce it to Parliament next week. An agreement has also been reached not to toll first-class roads for the rest of this month. Some 800 current sections of first-class roads are to be re-divided into shorter sections, a revision that would increase their number approximately by 240 and will limit the number of unused kilometres that truckers will have to pay for.

Representatives of the Union of Road Carriers (UNAS) came to the Government Office at the planned time of a meeting with Fico – 10:00 on Monday – despite the fact that he had already announced that he would not meet them due to the continuing protests. Rožňavská Street in Bratislava has been blocked by more than 100 trucks since Thursday, January 7.

More than two dozen truckers from the Trenčín region joined the protest with trucks and smaller vehicles driving slowly through towns in the region with flashing lights and honking horns, paralysed a 12 kilometre section of road between Púchov and Považská Bystrica.

An unknown vehicle dropped a pile of dung in front of the Government Office building in Bratislava on the same day during talks between representatives of the Union of Road Carriers (UNAS) and Braňo Ondruš, the head of the Government Office press department. The incident is being investigated and the dung was removed by a private company. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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