Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala called on Czechs to handle gas and electricity in a rational manner to save their own money and help lower state expenditures, while also helping the Czech economy.
He added that the state would set a positive example by economising on the use of energy.
The Czech government’s recently decided to cap the prices of energy for households, small and medium-sized enterprises and public institutions.
“Over CZK 100 billion is involved, which we have to get from somewhere. We don’t want to borrow money once again, as previous cabinets did repeatedly,” Fiala said.
The government is also discussing options to compensate large high-net-worth Czech companies and industrial enterprises for lost profits due to rising energy costs.
Besides using the planned windfall tax, targeting extraordinary profits among energy companies, the state should finance the electricity and gas price caps from increased dividends from state-controlled companies, including the CEZ energy provider, Fiala said.
The soaring price of energy in late August is a direct consequence of Russia’s economic war against the West, said Fiala.
“Its goal is to threaten the social certainties of people in European countries, paralyse our economies, undermine citizens’ trust in the state and democracy itself, and pit European countries against each other,” he said. However, he added, the opposite has come true, as the situation has united EU member states.
“To change the Czech energy industry, build new infrastructure – all this takes long months and years. That is why we are working hard on it,” he said, mentioning steps already taken such as the filling of gas storage capacity and creation of reserves, and also the progress made towards the extension of the Dukovany nuclear power plant in South Moravia.
“We are doing our utmost for the Czech Republic to become a sovereign energy state as quickly as possible. This is the only way for us to get out of the danger of the energy crisis truly and definitively,” he said.