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By Esther Vivas
We would all cry out to heaven. If, however, in my house I cannot turn on the light, put the radiator or the washing machine on, it seems that this does not matter. Although this situation already affects 10% of the homes in the State, some four million people. What is not seen does not count.
Poverty nowadays not only means not having a job, not making ends meet, not being able to pay the mortgage or rent, but also not being able to turn on the light, take a shower or turn on the heating. This is what is called energy poverty. And according to the Association of Environmental Sciences, its consequences are: more health problems, worse quality of life and deaths. "It is estimated that energy poverty is responsible in Spain for between 2,300 and 9,300 premature deaths," says the association. Deaths that, everything indicates, do not count.
And they do not count because in a social emergency situation, such as the one described, we see that the price of electricity only increases. This was announced this Thursday: the electricity bill will rise by 11.5% in January. The Government, once again, bows its head to the electricity companies, putting their economic interests before the basic needs of people such as not being cold in winter, cooking or turning on the light. The usury of capital does not know principles or has morals.
In the last ten years, the electricity bill has risen by 78% and the price of kW by 119%, according to FACUA data, “thanks” to the market liberalization policies carried out by both the Party government Popular like the PSOE. The oligopoly of the electricity companies is, ultimately, who dictates the Laws of the sector, and that's how it goes. If you can't pay the bill, bye electricity, bye electricity, bye heating. It doesn't matter if you have no income. The PP already rejected, at the time, a winter truce for the most disadvantaged families. Now the campaign slogan of Mariano Rajoy comes to my mind in the last elections: "Join the change." So, they "forgot" to explain exactly what the change consisted of. I doubt, if they had, they would have won.
If they take away our water, electricity, and electricity, as many have also taken away their houses, we will have no choice but to take what is ours. This has been done for years by various social movements in countries of the South, reconnecting those from whom essential services have been cut off. We see it, too, now here with the Social Work of the Platform for People Affected by Mortgages, helping those who have been left homeless, while thousands of homes are empty and in the hands of banks. Some friends of mine have already put it into practice and make their "crafts" available to those who need it. I will encourage you to give a workshop, I think the places will be sold out.