January 17, 2021

Garzón goes on the attack to modify the electricity bill and insists on a public energy company


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New confrontation within the coalition government on account of the rise in the price of electricity. Since United We can pressure the PSOE to comply with the programmatic agreement and undertake the promised reform of the electricity market as soon as possible. After the increases in the price of electricity in recent days due to the storm “Filomena”, from the match led by Pablo Iglesias consider that “affordable prices for consumers and companies” should be guaranteed, as mentioned in the pact between the two formations.

The Minister of Consumption himself, Alberto Garzon, advanced yesterday on the social network Twitter that the Coalition Executive is focused on achieving reforms to lower the price of electricity and “correct structural problems that we have dragged on for decades.” In this sense, Garzón recalled that the Government agreement raises “some lines and measures of work that aspire to solve this problem once and for all”. «The rise in the price of electricity worsens the situation of energy poverty of the most vulnerable families, so we are facing a severe social problem whose solution is a priority for this Government and for which we are working tirelessly.

Garzón attributes the increased cost of the receipt in Spain to the operation of the “inefficient system designed by the EU”, but also to the fact that the energy sector “is dominated by three large companies, which have great market power”. “The general social composition of these companies is also problematic: years of conflicts of interest have given their power a name.” For this reason, the head of Consumption goes further and insists on the creation of a public company such as “Useful instrument that would help lower prices”. However, he admits that a publicly owned entity “would not control the market nor is it a panacea, but with it it would improve the margin of action.”

“Different approaches”

For her part, the fourth vice president of the Government, Teresa Ribera, indicated today that there is “a very broad consensus” between PSOE and United We Can on the “priorities” of the energy reform planned for this legislature, although she admitted that “we can still have approaches different regarding the most appropriate measures ”. In statements to TVE, Ribera agreed with Garzón that the energy reform is fundamental in the Executive’s work agenda for 2021 and the forecast is that in this first half of the year, “the Secretaries of State for Social Rights and Energy will address it with experts who have a good understanding of how a complicated market works. ‘

Teresa Ribera opted for “robust reforms” for the energy system, although he explained that it is necessary “to see which intervention in the market is the most practical, the simplest and the safest” with respect to the European legal framework and the constitutional framework.

The priority has been “from day one” “to work on issues of energy poverty, providing social coverage to the most vulnerable consumers” and that is “a government commitment to our Podemos partners,” added the head of Energy Transition.

It should be remembered that in the pact between United We Can and the PSOE the commitment for a comprehensive reform was signed with several points to follow, among them, the modification of the electricity bill to reduce the percentage represented by the power term and that the variable term of the regulated component increases as a function of the energy consumed. In this way, it is intended that the cost to be paid by families for the first kilowatts consumed is lower than the following.

No VAT reduction

However, the Minister of Finance and also a Government spokesperson, Maria Jesus MonteroHe repeated – like other Socialist ministers during the last week – that the rise in the price of electricity that Spain is now suffering “is temporary and punctual.” He also insisted that the government “works tirelessly” so that the whole of the year is cheaper than the previous one. Despite these promises, Montero ruled out a reduction in the VAT rate for electricity, now set at the maximum of 21%, since “it would not be in line with what is set by Europe.”

Montero defended that the current rise is a “specific peak” motivated by consumer demand in the face of cold and frost. “We are complying with the electoral premises and the commitment to make the necessary regulatory and normative changes to make the electricity bill cheaper in the short and long term,” he said.

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