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Slovak PM warns energy crisis will ‘kill our economy’

Soaring electricity costs are leaving Slovakia’s economy at risk of “collapse,” Prime Minister Eduard Heger told the Financial Times.

In an interview published Wednesday, the Slovakian leader said the huge increase in prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would “kill our economy” unless Bratislava receives billions of euros of support from Brussels.

Heger added that he would be forced to nationalize the country’s power supplies if the support was not forthcoming.

His comments are the starkest warning yet from an EU leader on the effects of the global energy crisis, while countries grapple with the consequences of Moscow’s gas squeeze driving the prices to record levels.

Early this year, Slovakia’s biggest energy provider sold off excess power to energy traders.

These traders are now selling the contracts back to Slovakia at market prices that are about five times higher, Heger said. “Slovaks are buying for €500 what they sold for €100.”

For this reason, the Commission’s plan to raise more than €140 billion from electricity generators by member countries would not work for Slovakia. “If we want to have a windfall tax, it must be European,” Heger said, with the profits distributed evenly around the bloc.

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