The energy crisis could kill Slovakia's economyб, Prime Minister Eduard Heger told FT.
According to him, fluctuating electricity prices have caused his country's economic system to collapse. He noted that significant cost increases would 'kill our economy' if Slovakia did not receive billions of euros in aid from Brussels, and warned that he could be pressured to nationalize the country's energy supply if that did not happen.
Although Slovakia is a major producer of nuclear and hydroelectric power, its largest electricity supplier has made the costly decision to sell its surplus energy. These sellers are actually pushing contracts to Slovakia again at market prices, which can be about 5 times higher.
“Slovaks are buying for €500 what they sold for €100,” Heger said, adding that for this reason a European Commission plan for a €140bn windfall tax on power generators in the bloc would not work in Slovakia. “If we want to have a windfall tax, it must be European,” he told the Financial Times.
Heger mentioned that revenue from the EU contingency tax should be spread evenly across the EU, which could bring Slovakia about 1.5 billion euros. He also needs Brussels to run unused regional development funds of 5 billion euros, which could be used to reduce energy bills for businesses.
“Otherwise [Slovakian businesses] will be closing and could actually collapse the whole economy,” Heger said. If Brussels does not come to its aid, “then we’ll have to keep this electricity for our companies and our households [so as] not to collapse,” he said. “We don’t want to do this, but if there won’t be any other help we will be pushed to this solution.