Danko Wants to Remove Holjencik from URSO Chair Post via Resolution

SNS chairman Andrej Danko (stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, January 31 (TASR) – Jozef Holjencik, the director of the Office for the Regulation of Network Industries (URSO), should render an account in the House for what he’s done, Parliamentary Chairman Andrej Danko (Slovak National Party/SNS) told a news conference held on Parliament’s premises on Tuesday.

Danko has included a slot in the parliamentary session’s agenda in which Holjencik should appear in the House and provide an explanation for his actions that resulted in increases in electricity and gas bills for the public as of January 1.

“As I have observed the Government’s quandary over Mr. Holjencik, and as I can see several lobby groups that think they’ll smile behind the scenes because nothing’s going on, I said that Mr. Holjencik will render an account in the House for what he’s done,” stressed Danko.

Danko believes that the URSO chief favoured companies in which Czech group Energeticky a prumyslovy holding (EPH) holds stakes. He alluded, for example, to the fact that only people in central Slovakia have a problem with increased fees for circuit breakers. This area is served by electricity utility Stredoslovenska energetika, which is co-owned by EPH. “Mr. Holjencik must get rid of this suspicion in Parliament,” added Danko.

Meanwhile, Danko said that a draft resolution is being prepared based on which MPs should call on the URSO chair to resign from his post. “We must tell people clearly that it isn’t us who are reluctant to dismiss him, but it is he who is holding on to this post tooth and nail,” added the parliamentary chairman.

Danko noted that Holjencik was elected to the post for a certain term, and it is impossible to sack him prematurely. He would have to commit a crime that would be investigated. Only then could the president dismiss him. Parliament should deal with URSO’s information on energy prices at 9 a.m. on Thursday (February 2).

Holjencik’s parliamentary hearing should take place in response to a significant hike in new advance payment bills received by many people and entrepreneurs. SNS and several Opposition parties have called on him to resign from his post. Vice-chair of the governing Smer-SD party Peter Pellegrini has admitted this possibility as well.