Weekly: Mining Mule?
Prime Minister Robert Fico denies any closure of mines. He is a miner in his heart.
Last week, the future support for national coal extraction was discussed by politicians again. This coal is used for electricity generation at the coal-fired power plant Novaky. Two things are yet clear. Electricity consumers chip in for this support with a sum from 90 to 100 million euros ever year in their electricity bills. Prime Minister Robert Fico denies any closure of mines. He is a miner in his heart. Supporting miners by all citizens has been giving him pleasure for many years.
Politicians have recently started discussing an earlier reduction of Slovak mining as planned; e.g. before the year 2030. Maros Sefcovic, European Commission’s Vice-President for the Energy Union was the first who came up with this sinful idea (if we do not talk about the right-wing opposition which has been pointing at this for several decades, however, failed to pluck up the courage when it was ruling), later joined by Economy Minister Peter Ziga. They are all the children of the political party Smer-SD, the party whose leader knows nothing about an earlier closure of mines. He says that it is nonsense and he has nothing to do with that.
His people are walking in the mining region and discussing options s with regional politicians in order to substitute mining with other activities and support the region with EU funds. If this is done from their own will without Prime Minister’s awareness – obviously yes if he says that he is not aware of this – then they risk their political future, particularly EU commissioner who has been in this post thanks to Smer-SD. The chairman of yet the strongest party may not like to have something in common with EU commissioner next year when the next elections to the European Parliament are held. Just like he says that he has nothing to do with earlier closure of mines.
Everyone, including opposition, experts and EU commissioner agree that preparations for diminishing mines should begin today. Some ruling politicians also back this idea. Miners and Prime Minister are wearing blinkers. In regard to miners, it is understandable. It is an incredible business to receive tens of millions of euros only by claiming that they have quality coal suitable for electricity generation. Why does Prime Minister still reject the discussion among experts and defend miners stubbornly with his own body in dirty trousers underground? It is odd, especially since almost every company in our country is facing staff shortages. Either our Prime Minister is absolute mining mule, or … is it a pure business?
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