Fico responds to companies complaining about electricity prices

PRIME Minister Robert Fico wants to meet requirements of the companies complaining about high electricity prices via abolishing the fees they have to pay to the National Nuclear Fund. His statements revealed during the political talk show Sobotné Dialógy (Saturday Dialogues) broadcast by the public-service Slovak Radio (SRo), adding that the only entity that will need to pay the fee will be Slovenské Elektrárne (SE).

PRIME Minister Robert Fico wants to meet requirements of the companies complaining about high electricity prices via abolishing the fees they have to pay to the National Nuclear Fund. His statements revealed during the political talk show Sobotné Dialógy (Saturday Dialogues) broadcast by the public-service Slovak Radio (SRo), adding that the only entity that will need to pay the fee will be Slovenské Elektrárne (SE).

Businesses however say it will not solve the problem with high prices, SRo reported on October 27.

Representatives of businesses and employers’ associations sent an open letter to Fico in which they pointed to the problem of high electricity prices, Marian Jusko, head of the National Union of Employers (RÚZ), told the press on October 23.

“We have been complaining a long time that the electricity prices in Slovakia for industrial producers are some of the highest in Europe,” Jusko said, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

He added that one of the reasons for high prices is that in August 2014 the so-called tariff for operating the national grid rose which increased the end prices for Slovak industry.

Fico responded to the criticism with saying that the companies will not have to pay the fee to the National Nuclear Fund since “it is designed mainly for the activities within SE”, as reported by SRo.

Such a step would decrease the electricity prices for big companies by about 3 percent, said Tibor Gregor of Club 500, which unites the biggest employers in Slovakia. In Germany, for example, the electricity prices are 34 percent lower.

“Abolishing the fee to the National Nuclear Fund is a good thing since it will decrease the end prices of electricity,” Gregor told SRo. “It will not however solve the problem.”

Jozef Badida, analyst with the Energieprevas.sk website, said that the fees the government wants to move to the SE do not relate to its activities and asks how the government wants to compensate the firm for these increased costs, SRo reported.

Source: SRo, TASR

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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