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Kariņš: new electricity subsidies under Vējoņis’ fold mean «milking people»

Krišjānis Kariņš/flickr.com/epp group.
The initial version of the legislative project prepared by the Energy Security Commission formed by Latvian President Vējoņis goes against already existing legislative drafts about the structure of Europe’s electricity market and have nothing more in store than «milking the nation», says MEP Krišjānis Kariņš.

The parliamentarian explains that Latvia should go in the same direction as the EU – become from imported energy. Establishing new subsidies, which is nothing more than milking the nation some more means going against this course, says the MEP, adding that for years now green energy has been considered a way for businesses to earn at residents’ expense in Latvia, which is wrong and unacceptable.

«Europe is actively moving away from subsidies, and the dispute is about getting rid of old subsidies. This can be done the way Economy Ministry did with Latvenergo – reach an agreement about payments to ensure MPC recipients are fine with dropping subsidies and consumers do not have to pay extra every month. This is the right direction. We in Europe want to prohibit such opportunities to milk people for money,» said Kariņš.

According to him, green energy is welcome, but the objective here can be achieved using market mechanisms as well. This means lifting subsidies for gas. This would make any other form of energy more competitive. This is the direction worth following – away from market distortion, away from milking people using competition, says the MEP.

Kariņš is surprised about the fact that such proposals have come from the State President’s Chancellery, which usually presents principles aimed at unifying society. This matter, however, is in the competence of Economy Ministry. He said it is possible that a narrow lobby of businessmen has been rather active recently and has found welcoming ears in the State Chancellery.

«I don’t have proof, but logic dictates that it is so, because it goes against what Latvia needs and against what has been established in Europe. How can they offer taking more of people’s money like that? I don’t know if it was lobby, misunderstanding or something else. Either way the result is completely unacceptable,» says the MEP.

Kariņš says that in any case the Saeima is the institution that can make or unmake laws in Latvia. He hopes the parliament will have enough reason to not apply more monetary commitments to residents. «I believe MPC-2 is nothing more than a way to milk more money from the nation,» added the MEP.

In 2016, the European Commission presented a legislative draft for the energy sector, which will be the conclusive stage for the formation of European Energy Union.

Kariņš had previously said that the function of the European energy market is impeded by many different support mechanisms, mandatory procurements and existing barriers for trade between member states, which impacts competition and forces residents to pay more. New legislative proposals for the formation of an electricity market provide for a truly unified market in the EU to help strengthen competition and reduce costs for consumers.

Ir magazine had previously reported that a new legislative draft for electricity production is under development with Latvia’s president supervising the process. The new legislative draft is aimed at a massive increase of output of locally produced electricity – «ensure at least 2 TWh from local renewable sources on the market by 2030».

The State President’s Chancellery notes that new electricity subsidies currently in development under Vējoņis’ fold would enhance Latvia’s energy security and availability of green energy in the country.

President’s press-advisor Jānis Siksnis said that the president formed the Energy Security Commission on 29 April 2016. The commission was ordered to assess the development of Latvia’s current energy policy, analyse and provide proposals for its improvement.


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