Economy ministry analysing energy prices situation

Ljubljana – Higher energy prices – the prices of natural gas, electricity and oil derivatives – are a major problem for the entire EU economy not just for Slovenian’s, Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek said in Ljubljana on Tuesday. The situation is being analysed and he hopes solutions will be found for each segment.

“The fact is that the period when we had cheap energy or exported waste has ended and that the green transformation will have to be made,” he said on the sidelines of a news conference about the Slovenian Tourism Days.

While the government does not have leverage to influence gas prices, “we’re somewhat more independent in electricity” as the government has the option of price regulation.

Počivalšek meanwhile rejected speculation that higher fuel prices are a result of the liberalisation of the Slovenian fuel market a year ago.

“It’s not like that. Fuel prices are generally rising, what was liberalised was only the margins on fuel prices. We’ll do an analysis to see what an impact certain elements have had on this and then act accordingly”.

The minister also said a longer period of such high prices would have a rather negative impact on the many Slovenian energy-intensive companies, “worse than Covid-19”.

He is however cautious about regulation, saying “the state can undertake an administrative intervention, but then we come to the situation we had in [Yugoslavia], when some prices were regulated and then there was a shortage of these goods. This is not an exit. I believe we will find a few solutions.”

He finds it interesting that whenever the EU starts discussing the green transition as envisaged in the Fit for 55 package, “we witness a horrific rise in energy prices”.