An article in today’s daily Pravda looks at the battle over gas prices, after gas utility SPP filed for a 17% hike in prices for households, with the Ministry of Economy very much against the move.
The Ministry of Economy under the leadership of Tomáš Malatinsky (nominee of Smer-SD) does not agree with the proposal, and so it will be revised by the SPP management. Ministry spokesman Stanislav Jurikovič says the ministry will therefore advise the state’s representatives in the Board of Directors to vote in favour of cancelling the price proceedings altogether, with the argument that it disagrees with the decisions of former state nominees in the BoD.
The Board of Directors of the company approved the request for a price increase at a time when the nominees of the department of the economy were placed in the company while the ministry was still led by Juraj Miškov (SaS), now in the opposition. Štefan Slezák from the SaS parts says Slovakia’s representatives did not support the proposal. “We voted against, but the proposal was pushed through by representatives of the foreign shareholders all the same, despite our opposition”, Slezák points out (the state has 3 BoD members while the foreign shareholders have 4).
SPP wants prices for households to increase because otherwise it claims it will be losing tens of millions of euro in the household segment. It argues that the reference values used by the regulatory authority URSO to calculate prices were not realistic, especially thanks to the weakened euro against the US dollar. The latest price hike proposal therefore looks set to be quashed once again.