While prices of electricity and natural gas are increasing for both households and businesses in Slovakia, it is still unclear how high the prices will rise and how generous the state's helping hand will be.
Slovakia's ruling coalition focused on handling its own political crisis this summer and repeatedly postponed the adoption of measures to help households, hospitals, schools, and businesses to tackle soaring energy prices.
Karel Hirman, the new economy minister who took over as minister in mid-September, after Richard Sulík stepped down and left the coalition with his SaS party, has pledged to put his own proposal of measures to the cabinet this Wednesday. Immediately after the measures are approved, the parliament will be asked to adopt the respective legislation in a fast-track legislative procedure.
“We are in a situation we have not experienced since World War II,” said Hirman for the Rádio Express on Monday, September 19. Tackling the energy crisis in Slovakia would be more expensive than handling the Covid-19 pandemic, he added. Much like with the pandemic, the EU will help financed a significant part of the measures he is about to propose.
“The main priority is that we all have secured electricity and gas at a price acceptable to our household wallets and to companies’ budgets to keep the country running,” the new minister said on the radio.
The government has indicated there will be help for households, schools, hospitals, and other public entities. A separate scheme should be designed for businesses. But one day ahead of the cabinet session, no concrete measures to be tailor-made for individual groups of clients have been made public.
Hirman specified, that he sees the capping of energy prices as one of the basic mechanisms to be adopted. with energy cheques for households being another one.
What the minister found at the Economy Ministry