If necessary, Slovakia may nationalise electricity producer Slovenské elektrárne to guarantee cheap electricity for the people, Finance Minister Igor Matovič announced on Sunday (11 September).
Slovenské elektrárne is currently owned by Czech billionaire Daniel Křetínský’s EPH and Italian energy giant Enel. Together, they own two-thirds of the shares, with the rest belonging to Slovakia’s economy ministry. The company operates Slovakia’s two nuclear power plants – Jaslovské Bohunice and Mochovce.
According to Matovič, it may be necessary for the state to step in to guarantee fair prices as the price of electricity production from nuclear power plants does not correspond with the market price.
“One of the solutions of the energy crisis is that we will try to come to an agreement with the current shareholders to buy back the share in Slovenské elektrárne,” Matovič said after he criticised the government of Mikuláš Dzurinda for privatising the company almost 20 years ago.
Matovič did not say how much it would cost but said nationalisation would be the “solution of the last resort”.
National Council member Marián Viskupič from Freedom and Solidarity party, which left the government coalition last week, agrees that the privatisation of Slovenské elektrárne was a mistake but said that purchasing the majority share is not feasible.
“Given our financial situation and budget deficits we currently have and will have in the upcoming years, there is no room for the state to buy Slovenské elektrárne back,” Viskupič said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Eduard Heger (OĽaNO) said he supports the pan-European solution of a windfall profits tax. (Michal Hudec | EURACTIV.sk)