The collapse of the electricity market is the biggest test for Fial’s government so far

The European electricity market has essentially stopped working in recent days. Prices soared above five times the spring level and three times the maximum swing from last year. At the same time, it is clear that only a few people can pay them in this amount. NewsFounded.com graphic

Every government deals with two types of problems: firstly, those that it sets out to solve in the program statement in advance, and secondly, those that develop more or less unexpectedly. Both types of problems involve negotiation of support as well as classic operational competence. For both, however, usually in the opposite proportion.

The previous government of Andrej Babiš had, in many ways, an attractive program, and at least two of its ministers performed above average well in fulfilling it. However, these merits were outweighed by the abuse of the state by Babiš as an oligarch and the boss of a number of other ministers, the influence of dark figures such as Toman, Staněk and Benešová, and the obstinate silence of other members of the government and the leadership of the parties involved in both.

Even if it were otherwise — everything would most likely still be overcome by covid and the accompanying government actions: confusion, chaos, disorganization. Well, let’s remember: long delays in responses to all but the first wave, contradictory statements, the disintegration of the expert advisory team, chessing with restrictive measures due to elections or Christmas celebrations, and so on.

Looking at the program of the current government of Petr Fiala, the liberal leftist cannot hope for many, perhaps only a few positives: the deagrofertization of the state, foreign policy clarity, several operational improvements such as the reform of executions or the digitization of the state administration, basic consideration for people with social problems and, finally, recognition of disruption climate — after all, it should be the government of the more educated right.

It remains to be seen how today’s coalition will react to the influence of its own dark figures. In any case, the main test of competence in relation to unexpected challenges awaits her. And it will obviously not be the Russian invasion of Ukraine itself — after all, we will not decide the war — but the related energy crisis: the lack of gas and especially the collapse of the electricity market.

Gas has been talked about for a long time, and now we will hear even more about electricity. After the increase in the price of energy raw materials and the summer outage of some nuclear sources, which do not have enough water for cooling due to the drought, the market stopped functioning rationally and panic took over. Prices on the most important exchange for us soared to just in August five times the spring level and three times last year’s panic peak — levels just after the fall of Bohemia Energy. It will be necessary to knock them down in an unmarketable manner, or effectively ceiling them.

This is indeed a very serious problem. Companies are already planning layoffs due to electricity, universities are considering online teaching. And the “Russian” winter hasn’t hit yet… At the same time, the government will have to conceptually transcend its ideological shadow, that is, overcome its own ideological and political profiling. And in addition — he will also have to think and especially act in an EU-wide context.

Any failure would certainly have not only devastating social but also political consequences. The media of the oligarchs are already highlighting the part of critical voices that they think is necessary to be loyal to the interests of the Czech Republic, and not Ukraine. Stormy autumn protests are planned.

It is paradoxical that the Minister of Justice Pavel Blažek, our Brno don and a puppeteer of the South Moravian format, who was recently executed here by the authors of Milion chvilek and Transparency International: “If the energy crisis is not resolved, the political system of this country is at risk. If a pan-European solution is not found, then the European Union as such is even threatened,” Blažek literally said in the House of Representatives and added:

“I won’t do anything now other than finding a legal solution to make it work,” he said, referring to the need to find a form of state intervention that the energy companies will not be able to legally challenge or overturn.

Perhaps even worse acute crises will come at the end of Fial’s mandate, but now it seems clear: the collapse of the electricity market will be to the current government what covid was to the last one. She didn’t choose him, she’s largely not to blame for him, but in the end it seems today that he has the potential to trump everything else — either in her favor or the other way around.


Source: Deník referendum by denikreferendum.cz.

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