Hundreds of thousands of citizens of Skopje face uncertainty whether they will receive heating tomorrow. BEG, the biggest central heating provider in the city, announced that it only has cash reserves for today, and can’t go on buying natural gas at the greatly increased market prices.
The company, which was recently purchased by oligarch Vanco Cifliganec who is close to the Zaev regime, secured a 14 percent increase in the price, but says it is not nearly enough to offset the gas price increase. It calls on the Government to assume management of the company, and provide public funds for gas, and then return the company to private ownership after the winter.
The company is already reducing deliveries – in particular, consumers linked to the TE-TO gas plant in the east of the city are affected since TE-TO shuts down its electric generators during most weekends, and has no interest in running them only to provide warm water. Over 60,000 apartments and houses in the center of Skopje are heated with the central system, its water warmed up by four gas fired plants. Macedonia is not in a position to secure a more favorable gas price from its main supplier – Russia – since it’s a small, isolated market. As the country became the latest NATO member state, the Zaev regime continued antagonizing Russia, withdrew from the proposed South Stream pipeline, expelled a number of Russian diplomats and frequently accused the country of trying to destabilize Macedonia, all of which reflects on the gas price.