Bojnice spa has filed a motion with the Antimonopoly Office (PMÚ), alleging that the Hornonitrianske Bane Prievidza mining company is misusing its dominant position in the market to sell overpriced, inefficient coal.
“Electricity generated from this coal is costing all Slovak citizens more than it should, with every end user paying around €10 extra annually,” said Bojnice spa director Slavomír Eliáš, as quoted by the TASR newswire.
He also pointed to the fact that the Hornonitrianske Bane Prievidza has for a long time been heralding its intention to expand its mining, which “might seriously threaten the existence of the spa itself, as well as the tourism of the area”.
The town of Bojnice (Trenčín Region) is a jewel of Slovak tourism, world-renowned thanks to the Bojnice Castle, which has been ranked by National Geographic as among the most beautiful castles in the world. The spa also brings tourists to the town, and many stay for a couple of days and return regularly, Eliáš said.
“I’ll say it simply: if Hornonitrianske Bane expends its mining, we’re finished,” Eliáš added, as quoted by TASR. “Our hot springs would fall into new shafts, and we would lose our water, as was the case for a similar spa in Poland. The environmental impacts of this might be devastating.”
Eliáš noted the company’s “unfair conduct in our locality” and has taken legal steps that he says “might put an end to this agony financed by our taxes”.
In its motion, Bojnice spa stated that Hornonitrianske Bane controls a dominant share of the Slovak brown coal market - over 94 percent, as confirmed by its annual report. The spa also stated in the motion that the price of coal sold by the mining company significantly exceeds the average in surrounding countries, TASR reported.