The Slovenia Times

New ministers to join forces in tackling energy price hikes

Economy

Ljubljana - The new infrastructure minister, Bojan Kumer, announced on Thursday that he and Economy Minister MatjaĆŸ Han would appoint a task force on Monday to deal with energy price hikes.

"The energy price hikes need to be addressed immediately," Kumer said as he took over from his predecessor Jernej Vrtovec, adding that the new task force would be in charge of that.

"We're aware of the circumstances we're in," he said, pointing to fuel prices, which are in the domain of the Economy Ministry and electricity and gas prices, which are in the remit of the Infrastructure Ministry.

He said he and Han had agreed that as ministers they would join forces with some of their closest advisors and form the task force to tackle the energy price hikes together.

The administrative pricing for the two most popular fuels that was reintroduced on 10 May remains in place for now, Kumer said.

The price caps on motor fuels, setting the maximum retail prices at EUR 1.560 a litre for regular petrol and EUR 1.668 a litre for diesel will be in force for three months, that is by 10 August.

But the new minister said they would look for more effective solutions to benefit the citizens.

Since Slovenia is almost self-sufficient in terms of electricity, Kumer believes a solution could be intervening in the supply chains, from the producer to the end consumer.

"Within my powers I will not allow for the consumer to carry all the burden. It will absolutely need to be divided and the smallest burden should be carried by the end user," he said, adding that this was to be discussed at today's government session.

For gas, where Slovenia is completely dependent on imports, solutions are being sought also within the EU, where all solutions available will be used, including joint orders and gas storage facilities, he said.

Vrtovec said things were going as planned, adding Slovenia was not behind in any way and that this segment would be properly addressed as well.

As MP Vrtovec pledged to provide full support in dealing with the issues he finds would be the most challenging, which is the energy price hikes and the supply of construction materials.

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