By: C. R., STA
Yesterday, a consultation was held in Ljubljana on measures to mitigate the costliness, in which, among others, the presidents of all parliamentary parties, representatives of energy companies, and economic experts took part. The meeting was also attended by the President of the Slovenian Democratic Party Janez Janša and MP Rado Gladek.
“It is high time for the government to prepare measures to address the problems of the economy, agriculture, and people that we have with this costliness in a balanced way,” SDS champion Janez Janša said upon arriving at the consultation. According to him, SDS is always ready to support all measures that benefit people and the economy, and that will be the case this time as well. “We have a lot of proposals, but we do not have a voting majority in the National Assembly,” said Janša regarding the opposition proposals, adding that they will present the proposals today “if the ruling party is ready to listen”.
After the end of the consultation, which was aimed at creating comprehensive solutions for controlling the price and ensuring the country’s energy security, SDS president Janez Janša made a statement to the media.
When asked what the first meeting of the coalition and the opposition was like, and what the outcome of the meeting was, SDS president Janez Janša replied that it was not a meeting of the coalition and the opposition, but that it was an extended meeting in which the economic and energy experts presented concrete data on the current situation and some forecasts. “This part was very helpful. Regarding the measures. The government has announced some of them, and if the words at the end are true, there will be another meeting when the government will put these measures on paper and make them concrete. Our proposal was that funds for mitigating the energy crisis, including partly addressing the problem of high inflation, should be taken from the high profits of electricity producers,” said the president of SDS.
“Even state-owned power producers are selling this energy at high prices, which are five times higher than the cost of production, and here is a source for some of the investments we need in the future, as well as mitigating the energy crisis when it comes to help people and companies,” said the president of SDS. “When it comes to investments, which are necessary so that our energy balance will be different and prices will be lower, it is necessary to use the reserves,” he added, reminding of natural gas deposits and biomass, as Slovenia is the fourth most forested country in Europe. “There are huge reserves of biomass here, which we do not use. There are many business opportunities that should be addressed in the future as relatively quickly as possible,” said the president of the SDS.
Janez Janša highlighted the construction of the second block of the nuclear power plant as strategically important for the future. The president of SDS also sees a change in European policies as part of the solution to the energy crisis. “We advised the government to engage more with those countries that think similarly. Above all, to change the formula for calculating electricity prices on the European market, which is now calculated primarily on the basis of the energy source natural gas, which, however, represents only 10% of energy sources. This creates huge profits, and these profits go not only to Moscow, but also to some European companies that trade in energy products. These companies are creating lobbying pressure on the European Commission, which, despite promising to do so, has not yet presented a revised energy calculation formula. The proposed taxation of the carbon footprint of buildings and cars should certainly be postponed. If this happens, it will further fuel the spiral of inflation. These are all tasks that the Slovenian government, together with like-minded EU members, can successfully address in the coming months,” assessed the SDS president.
Regarding political cooperation and Prime Minister Robert Golob’s call, Janez Janša replied that this was not emphasised today. “We all know that the current opposition is acting differently from what part of the current coalition did in the past when they were in the opposition. Neither SDS party, nor, I believe, NSi party, will oppose measures that will actually help people, the economy, and agriculture. When it comes to concrete measures, it will be necessary to look at whether these are measures that actually go in this direction. So far, some decisions have been made that go in the opposite direction.” Janez Janša mentioned the repeal of the Income Tax Act, as well as the adoption of the law, which repealed some of the measures of the previous government, which enabled the faster construction of some energy facilities. “I hope that the government coalition will synchronise and that it will not tear down with its left hand what it would like to build with its right hand.”
Regarding the presented government measures to mitigate the energy cost, Janez Janša said that nothing controversial was presented, but much of it was presented by government representatives in the form of dilemmas, so the final solutions are not yet known. “It is a matter of dilemmas whether to address this costliness in taxes or subsidies. Everyone avoided the word costly or energy voucher. They can call this measure something else, so that it will not resemble the previous mandate, but here we are talking about some measures that can actually help people and the economy, and we will support all such measures,” Janša said, adding that SDS will also support quick procedures in solving the energy crisis.
“When this energy crisis started, our government was under tremendous pressure that we are reacting too slowly and are not responsive. Then, when we acted, those allegations were still on the table. Today, we are already well into the second phase of the costliness crisis, which is deepening with high inflation, which was a record in June, but suddenly there is no great rush and pressure from the media. We could be a little more active here despite the summertime,” concluded SDS president Janez Janša.