Industry in Slovakia is being troubled by long-term taxes, levies and prices for electrical energy. Companies, employer's organizations as well as trade unions have often pointed out these problems; it appears that Brussels is also critically opposed to the business activities in our country. “The problems which the industry in Slovakia must stand up to are several, but certainly all to a man agree about the fact that we have, even in European circumstances, too high prices for energy,” said the President of the National Union of Employers and Vice President of U. S. Steel Košice Miroslav Kiráľvarga for Hospodárske noviny (Economic Newspaper) last week, and the same opinion was also presented by representatives of other large companies such as MATADOR HOLDING, Slovnaft, PSA, and Kia Slovensko. They are reacting to the proposed new regulation policy for the years 2017 – 2021, which was forwarded to the comment procedure at the end of last year by the Regulatory Office for Network Industries. According to the opinion of this office the deregulation of prices will come into consideration only after the latter date.
The professional public is critical of this proposal, which strengthens regulation instead of supporting deregulation. They emphasize that the high energy prices for businesses will further competitively handicap our companies on the markets. U. S. Steel Košice Director Governmental and EU Affairs Michal Pintér also confirms this fact. “The prices of energy in Europe are, in the long term, markedly higher than the prices paid by our competitors in third countries. In comparison with the USA for example, the prices are even several times higher. In addition, Slovakia has some of the highest prices for energy in whole EU. And I am not mentioning the other costs, mainly in the environmental area, which our rivals outside the EU needn't participate in at all. From this point of view we perceive any increase in charges as undesirable, as it will further undermine our competitiveness, even despite the fact (as the regulator repeatedly emphasizes) that it is compensated for by the decline in commodity prices. I consider as notably controversial especially the charges for provision of system services and for operation of the system which we must pay in full to the system operator both for electricity produced as well as consumed in our own facilities. At the same time we use waste gases from our technological processes for power generation, which can be considered as an environmental solution since it involves the employment of secondary energy sources.”