Small business owners urge government to contain exploding gas prices

NEWS 17.08.2022 17:48
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Source: JOE KLAMAR / AFP / ILUSTRACIJA

Association of small businesses Voice of Entrepreneurs (UGP) on Wednesday urged the government to "immediately respond" to the volatile situation on the gas market and related price hikes, Hina said.

UGP issued a press release in which they warned that the “unstable developments” on the gas market resulted in multiple price rises, “which is why micro-, small- and medium-sized businesses need government’s assistance and intervention.”

They also criticized new gas contracts which the municipal gas supply company GPZ in Zagreb began sending businesses in the capital. These new contracts include new provisions, including the scrapping of fixed prices per kilowatt hour. Instead, the new draft contracts provide for fluctuating prices which will depend on the average prices on the gas market in Austria or Hungary.

UGP warns that these prices could end up being anywhere between record high €150 and €200 per kilowatt hour. They added that the company also moved up the deadline to agree to the new contracts to 1 September. Unless customers agree to the new terms, their gas supply might be turned off.

“This short period of less than a month is not long enough for businesses to find more favorable distributors,” UGP said.

UGP’s leader, Hrvoje Bujas, said that in the event of the authorities’ failure to take “strong action,” about 20,000 members of the association, who are mainly owners of small businesses, will stage a protest rally in Zagreb.

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