Union: Due to energy prices, municipalities will have to limit investments and normal operations

Union: Due to energy prices, municipalities will have to limit investments and normal operations
Union: Due to energy prices, municipalities will have to limit investments and normal operations

Prague – Cities and municipalities in the Czech Republic will have to limit investments and normal operations due to energy prices, unless the government comes up with a crisis scenario. The vast majority of municipalities end their contracts with fixed energy prices at the end of this year, so they do not have energy guaranteed for next year. Representatives of the Union of Cities and Municipalities of the Czech Republic (SMO ČR) told journalists today. According to them, in the worst case, there is a risk of closing kindergartens or primary schools, limiting public services and transport services. The union calls on the government to act, asking for the definition of a crisis scenario. Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS) told journalists that the government is preparing a solution that will provide public institutions and municipalities with energy at affordable prices. He mentioned the state energy trader.

The Union of Towns and Municipalities conducted a survey among municipalities, and received hundreds of responses. In roughly 90 percent of the municipalities that responded to the association, the situation is very complex. “We sent an e-mail to our members asking for their experience with the current situation on the energy market. A storm of responses came in, where mayors describe skyrocketing prices that they are unable to accept without radical cost-saving cuts not only in terms of investments, but also in the normal operation of the city or municipality ,” said František Lukl, chairman of the Union of Towns and Municipalities and mayor of the city of Kyjov.

The union wants the government to attach the same importance to municipalities as, for example, to households, industry or regions. Due to the imminent unavailability of energy, according to Lukl, social tension and crime may increase. In the first step, municipalities will seek savings in investments, thus the drawdown of European subsidies may be in jeopardy, as approved projects may not be implemented due to savings. In the next step, municipalities can save on public services, for example on the operation of sports grounds. In the most critical situation, municipalities will have to reach into the budgets of public services, which can be, for example, garbage collection or maintenance of public spaces. According to the union, restricting the operation of schools should only be a last resort.

The Union of Towns and Municipalities demands from the government that municipalities have guaranteed energy supplies through a state trader or in another form. The union wants it to have energy available at reasonable prices. According to Lukl, if the government does not realize that the municipalities are its partners, it is doomed to failure. According to the SMO, the government has been communicating insufficiently for the past six months, the union has called on government representatives to help cities and municipalities several times.

Prime Minister Fiala mentioned the establishment of a state energy trader as a possible solution today. “If it is not possible to quickly tame, cap or find some similar solution to energy prices, we will come up with a tool that will ensure public institutions and municipalities have enough energy at affordable prices,” he said. “The solution goes towards the creation of a state energy trader that could supply energy at affordable prices to all these institutions,” the prime minister added.

The deputy chairman of the SMO and the mayor of Velký Osek, Pavel Drahovzal, pointed out that the questionnaire survey concerned municipalities of all sizes. The union stated that the government must take into account that domestic cities and municipalities are important public contractors and drivers of regional development. In 2020, according to the union, municipal contracts accounted for almost 20 percent of all public contracts in the Czech Republic.

“If there is a radical restriction of municipal and municipal investments, the negative effects will not only be limited to slowing down or directly stopping the running of municipal investment plans, but will also have an impact on the incomes of local entrepreneurs and thus family budgets,” added Drahovzal.

energy administration gasoline of the municipality SMO

The article is in Czech

Tags: Union Due energy prices municipalities limit investments normal operations

PREV Today, Lenny releases Heartbreak Culture, which leans towards rock
NEXT Tatra Trucks will supply the Czech army with 80 trucks for more than 1.2 billion CZK