The Kovacevski Government yesterday instructed the state owned ELEM/ESM energy company to give reprieve to the Austrian owned EVN Macedonia distributor. EVN will be able to wait until July to pay for the electricity it distributed – and charged from consumers – in December and January.

The Austrian company claims that it is having enormous losses and is on the verge of bankruptcy. For this purpose, the Government announced it will pay additional 2.9 million EUR to ELEM from the state coffers, to keep this company afloat while it waits for EVN to pay its debt.

ELEM was already subsidized to the tune of over 60 million EUR by the Government, as the company badly mismanaged its key REK Bitola plant and left the country without enough coal and domestic electricity production in the run up to the winter heating season.

EVN distributes the electricity produced and imported by ELEM and collects the bills. But the company claims that in the on-going energy crisis, the collections do not cover their own costs, and that the company is forced to subsidize consumers, which is unbearable.