The government sees no reason in the proposal from Slovenský Priemyselný Priemysel (SPP), the country’s main gas distributor, to increase gas prices for households by 18 to 25 percent, said Prime Minister Robert Fico during a press conference held on October 16. The company plans to submit two proposals for a price hike as of next year to the regulatory office, the SITA newswire reported.
“We cannot respect such arrogant behaviour by the German and French shareholders [who jointly own a minority share in SPP],” said Fico, as quoted by SITA. He added that the distributor again justified the price hike proposal by pointing to its long-term losses in the regulated segment.
Fico warned SPP that if it did not withdraw the proposal, the government would not deal, at its session held on October 17, with the proposed sale by Germany's E.ON Ruhrgas and France's Gaz de France of their minority share in SPP to a new investor.
SPP responded that the proposal to hike prices for gas was prepared in compliance with the current law. The firm declined to comment on Fico’s appeal, SITA wrote.
The price of gas supplied to households has already risen twice this year. At the beginning of the year prices rose by 5.53 percent, and at the end of February the Regulatory Office for Network Industries (ÚRSO) increased them by 5.24 percent.
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
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