Subsidies for miners are higher than their salaries
Monday – February 28th 2011
The state might require a new version of an analysis which would review the purchase price of company Slovenské elektrárne. The National Property Fund (NPF) of SR plans to announce the tender for economic and legal appraisal of accounting of Slovenské elektrárne on 26th April 2011: The analysis should be used for negotiating an amendment of the purchase price for selling 66 % shares of Slovenské elektrárne to the Italian company Enel.
The issue was also debated during the government of Robert Fico and ex-minister of economy Ľubomír Jahnátek even presented in the government the agreed amendments with Enel, but the government did not deal with them. Privatization of Slovenské elektrárne was concluded in April 2006. Enel paid Slovakia 839 million Euro.
The disputed issue is whether the purchase price from 2006 was the final price, or whether the state or Enel should pay additional money according to audits that where carried out after the company was sold. The agreement negotiated by ex-Minister Jahnátek was a zero version which meant that no side of the contract would have to pay any additional costs and 839 million Euro was the final price.
Privatization of the six state heating companies does not require presence of international observers. As Stanislav Janiš (SDKÚ-DS), member of parliament and chief of the economic committee at of the Slovak National Council explained, the whole tender will be international with big players and these will be able to monitor each others. The question whether the tender should be observed from outside was raised by Prime Minister Iveta Radičova. „It is only a proposal so that the transparency of choosing the winner would be strengthened,” explained her spokesman Rado Baťo. Janiš also believes that the state should sell 100 % of the shares. „If we will mix politics to it, it can create a hybrid that would not be beneficial for the people or the management of the heating companies, “ concluded Janiš.
The issue whether to sell a part or the whole share in the heating companies should be decided by citizens. The opinion was proposed by Anna Belousovová, an independent deputy and ex vice-chairman of Slovak National Party. As she explained, it is the people that pay for the heat. So they should decide on the issue in a local referendum.
Tuesday – March 1st 2011
Members of the parliament from the opposition party Smer-SD presented in the parliament a law amendment of the law on privatization which should prevent from selling the six state heating companies. „We propose the creation of legal instruments which would make sure that 100 % of shares in these companies would remain as property of the National Property Fund”, explain the opposition deputies.
Wednesday – March 2nd 2011
The government has approved the proposal for a law amendment on regulation and passed it further to the parliament. If the parliament approves the proposal, the Council for regulation will loose its right to suggest the leadership of ÚRSO. Under the new law the leading posts will be decided by deputies based on a proposal for the economic committee. Once approved, the new law will come into force on 1st June 2011. According to the State Secretary at the Ministry of Economy, Martin Chren the current situation in the whole Regulatory Office is unlawful.
On the contrary the Council for regulation is defending itself and argues that it did even propose candidates for the post of chairman and vice-chairman of ÚRSO. The new chairman was supposed to be Dušan Bernáth and vice-chairman Vladimír Čepka. As the spokesman of the Office said, the Council did propose the two names to the cabinet. However, the government did not hold any talks on the issue and the Economic resort came up with its own idea how the leading posts should be assigned.
Thursday – March 4th 2011
Last year the subsidies for one miner in the Hornonitrianské mines has reached 1.793 Euro. This is by 700 Euro more than actually the mining company spends on one of their employees in terms of their salary. All together the money allocated to support lignite mining has reached 96 million Euro, which is approximately 17,7 Euro per citizen.
This year the subsidies should be lower, but still overcome 81 million Euro. In Slovakia lignite mining is supported in three ways: by a subsidy which is hidden in the price for electricity, indirectly by excise tax exemption for coal that is used for electricity generation or a direct subsidy from the Ministry of Economy.
Construction of renewable energy power plants could be regulated by auctions. The Ministry of Economy of Slovak Republic says that construction of solar or wind power plants could be regulated with a reverse auction. The auction would serve as means to select investors which would be willing to build their energy sources at the a lower purchase price of electricity. At the beginning of auction, its duration would be set as well as the maximum prices. The announcer of the auction would also set the maximal installed capacity for the current year. Investors would then hand in their offers and would know that those who propose the lowest purchase prices would be selected. This will create a pressure for minimizing the purchase price, explains the material proposed by Ministry of Economy.
The amount of the installed should be known in advance and set by the resort in cooperation with the Slovak electricity transmission system. The whole process is aimed at lowering end prices for electricity. Another instrument can according to the Ministry be that the organizer of the short-term market with electricity would take over responsibility for compulsory buy-in of electricity generated by power plants using renewable resources.