- Hans Weber
- March 1, 2024
Prime Minister Fiala called for reasonable energy management
Prague – In today’s extraordinary speech, Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS) called for reasonable management of gas and electricity. According to him, the government, state organizations, companies and households should consider whether they are handling energy correctly and how not to waste it. Sensible energy management will save everyone’s own money, but also reduce the expenses of the state budget, he said. According to him, it will also help industry and the entire Czech economy. Fiala will consistently insist that the state and its institutions lead by example in the investigation. The opposition criticizes Fiala’s speech as self-praise, while coalition politicians praise the prime minister.
The government’s decision to cap energy prices was not an easy one, the prime minister said. “It is on the order of more than one hundred billion crowns, which we have to get somewhere. We do not want to borrow this money again, as the governments before us did,” said Fiala. According to him, in addition to the planned tax on extraordinary profits, the state should finance the price ceiling for power electricity and gas from increased dividends at state-owned companies, including ČEZ.
This week, the Cabinet pushed through an amendment to the Energy Act in the House of Representatives, which will allow it to set the upper limit of electricity and gas prices for consumers in the event of an extraordinary market situation. The regulation still needs to be discussed by the Senate and signed by the president. The government then wants to limit the price of power electricity to six crowns per kilowatt hour, and in the case of gas to three crowns per kilowatt hour.
With today’s speech, Fiala wanted to dispel people’s possible doubts about whether they will be able to cope with the coming winter due to energy prices. According to him, setting the highest possible prices gives everyone certainty. He also recalled other government social measures, which the cabinet collectively refers to as an “umbrella against expensiveness”. He encouraged the citizens not to be shy and to be interested in the possibilities of how to use the help.
According to him, the rocket growth of energy prices at the end of August is a direct consequence of Russia’s economic war against the West. “The aim is to threaten the social security of the inhabitants of European countries, subvert their economy, undermine citizens’ trust in the state and in democracy as such, and pit individual European countries against each other,” he said. However, according to him, the situation brought the European Union states together.
Finance Minister Zbyněk Stanjura (ODS) previously stated that the budgetary impact of capping will amount to a maximum of 130 billion crowns. According to him, the state will use mobilized income from all state-owned companies, the prepared tax on extraordinary profits and income from emission allowances for the costs. Fiala spoke today about the amount of over one hundred billion crowns. The state will not go into debt because of this, according to Fiala, it wants to use the extraordinary tax and dividends from state-owned companies.
According to the Prime Minister, there is no easy way out of the current crisis. “To change the Czech energy industry, to build a new infrastructure, it takes many months and years. That’s why we are working hard on it,” he said. He recalled the government’s steps towards filling reservoirs and creating reserves, as well as the progress in preparations for the completion of the nuclear power plant in Dukovany. “We are doing everything we can to make the Czech Republic an energy-sovereign state as soon as possible. This is the only way to truly and definitively get out of the danger of the energy crisis,” he said.
According to Fiala, everyone can help by looking for ways to save and efficiently manage energy. Reasonable use of energy will help everyone save their own money, limit state budget expenses and also help the economy, he added. “I want to ask you to keep this in mind in the coming months and try to act accordingly. And I can promise you that I will consistently insist that the state and its institutions lead by example,” he added.
Okamura considers Fialo’s speech stupid, coalition politicians praise the prime minister
Today’s extraordinary speech by Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS) on energy was unnecessary or stupid, opposition party leaders told ČTK. According to the leader of the ANO movement and former prime minister Andrej Babiš, it was self-praise, for which a press conference would have been enough. The head of the Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) movement, Tomio Okamura, called the speech a false pre-election advertisement and a mockery of citizens.
Babiš wrote to ČTK that he did not understand what was extraordinary about the speech. “I expected the prime minister to apologize to the people that his government overslept and did not cap energy prices a few months ago. That he would apologize to the opposition for mocking us and his ministers when we asked them for it for half a year and called on them to ” he stated. Instead, the content of the speech was self-praise and familiar things, he added. “Big words about a massive campaign the world has never seen and a mandatory appeal to citizens that should have been made a long time ago,” he said.
According to Babiš, it is not true that the increase in energy prices would only shock Europe at the end of August. “On the contrary, most member countries (EU) knew this a long time ago and were prepared for it. Only the current government did nothing, it relied on a common European solution,” he added. The government “stitched up” the national procedure only a few days ago, when it understood that it would have to figure things out on its own, said Babiš. “That’s how it turned out. Aid for households is insufficient, chaotic and non-transparent for companies,” says the chairman of the ANO movement.
Okamura wrote to ČTK that the speech was a false pre-election advertisement and a mockery of citizens. “The incompetent Fial government has capped the price of electricity four times higher than they have in Slovakia, and for gas many times higher than if we had a direct contract with the producer, which the government, unlike our neighboring countries, refuses for ideological reasons,” said Okamura.
The energy situation continues to be liquidating and unbearable for many citizens and companies, added Okamura. He also criticized the Prime Minister’s statement that people should not be shy and look for which of the social measures within the “umbrella against expensiveness” could help them. “He even brags in his speech that he will increase the number of citizens dependent on social benefits. It was a stupid and useless speech and the government should resign,” added Okamura.
that the speech was absolutely accurate. “The current problems are a direct result of Putin’s economic war against the West and the manipulation of energy prices. The government is awake and has ensured enough gas and electricity for the winter. We are capping prices,” he wrote. He also mentioned the search for ways to greater energy independence.
speech by Minister of Labor Marian Jurečka (KDU-ČSL). He emphasized that the government helps households, public services, entrepreneurs and companies. “If any household needs additional help, then the social assistance system of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications is ready here, there is no need to be shy,” he added.
hat the government is not done with setting maximum energy prices. “The Czech Republic is in danger of the middle class falling into poverty, the prices of food and goods continue to rise unbearably, and the real value of wages and salaries is falling. It is necessary to immediately raise the minimum wage, valorize social benefits and prepare short-time work,” he said.