Spain: consumers hit by high electricity prices
Spain's electricity prices have skyrocketed in recent months. There are several reasons for this: the country's dependence on natural gas, which is becoming more expensive, the cost of CO2 certificates to combat climate change, inefficient regulation of electricity prices and a sharp rise in demand during the heat wave. For many consumers hefty electricity bills pose a serious problem. What should be done?
The streets should tremble with protests
The citizens need to make things very uncomfortable for the politicians, says Público:
“This is a real emergency situation for many people who cannot make ends meet at the end of the month, and for many small businesses that are now on the verge of having to shut down just as they were starting to recover from the effects of the pandemic. Yet there is not a soul to be seen on the streets, apart from the usual drinkers. ... It's time to realise that society is coming back from its summer break, to take a stand and make clear to our representatives that they don't have a blank cheque and that the streets can tremble when they don't do their job properly.”
Don't pass the buck to companies
Instead of grumbling about the electricity companies the left-wing government should use its leeway, advises ABC:
“The argument that electricity companies earn a lot of money and that their profits should therefore be cut is only a half-truth. This also doesn't make sense because it would violate the basic competition rules and because Europe allows a certain amount of government intervention to regulate electricity prices, but not full market intervention. ... State-regulated costs account for 43 percent of an electricity bill, and taxes for 13.5 percent. That means that the state can influence almost 60 percent of the charges on the bill. So it's here that the government has leeway to lower the costs.”