The Slovenia Times

PM appeals for cross-partisan unity to address cost-of-living crisis


Ljubljana - Prime Minister Robert Golob appealed for political unity as he set out his government's plans to ensure energy and food security and address rising prices and inflation in parliament on Thursday. The government plans to double strategic food reserves and replenish fuel reserves, as it declared level 1 threat with respect to electricity production.

"I'm offering my hand to the opposition and the coalition to talk through the key issues for the winter together," he said, referring to the impact of the war in Ukraine reflecting on food and energy security and rising prices.

The government has already adopted first measures, which Golob said might not have been understood well enough yet, but would once the whole picture became clear. Today, the government has drawn up a call for state purchase of wheat.

As far as the security aspect is concerned, he pledged the government would make sure that the "granaries are full. We will double our reserves of all strategic food commodities and crops. We will maximise all fuel reserves where we can."

The government today declared level 1 of threat for electricity production with the sole purpose being: "To increase strategic fuel stocks in the power industry, of all fuels, from oil products, to gas and coal."

After the Energy Agency launched phase 1 of the emergency plan for gas supply earlier this week, the government ordered the infrastructure minister to appoint task forces to prepare for the gas system to function in a state of emergency. Those groups will also involve other government departments and bodies, representatives of business association and others.

The minister was also tasked to work together with ELES, the operator of the electricity transmission system, and SODO, the distribution system operator, to prepare preventive and preparatory measures for the implementation of crisis scenarios of electricity supply.

The government called on Slovenian Sovereign Holding to ensure that the managements of the state-owned companies running systemic production resources for electricity supply make sure the resources and stocks are ready on time to operate in an emergency situation.

The minister was also told to work out with ELES and SODO a plan to increase capacity to produce solar energy by 1,000 megawatts by 2025 in suitable locations.

A second set of measures will address rising prices with Golob noting that the government today took measures to "regulate electricity prices for the first time in 13 years". This will be followed by regulation of prices of all other energy products.

Regulation is important in order to deal with inflation. "Curbing inflation is the first objective we are pursuing at this time. We will fill the granaries and make sure that prices are within the normal," said Golob.


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