Tuesday, September 28

Let there be light

“Let there be light, and the light was made and God saw that the light was good”

Genesis 1: 3

It is not with psychoanalysis that the important crisis caused by the immoderate and constant rise in the electricity bill will be resolved. Asking for empathy from individuals is already difficult, asking for it from legal entities, as Minister Ribera seems to have done, is naive. Unless… unless he was addressing specific individuals without naming them, in which case his admonition would make sense. It may even be that the person or persons to whom the message was addressed have taken for granted, although I doubt it.

The issue cannot be dispatched waiting. First of all, because it could slow down the expected comeback after the arrival of European funds. Second, because it could compromise electoral chances in the long run by compromising the coalition’s programmatic commitments. Third, because historically the unsustainable rise of basic products in the poorest social layers has produced riots such as the Flour War in France, the salt riots in Moscow, the potato riot in Portugal or the hunger riots. in 19th century Spain and without reaching those extremes, this popular dissatisfaction is not a risk that a left-wing government can run.

The subject is complicated and I would need a huge focus to illuminate all the edges of a market that is traditionally one of the darkest and most incomprehensible to the pagan. What does not work for me is to say that nothing can be done or that nothing can be done for Brussels. Things can be done and perhaps this is the most appropriate time to “legislate hot” and change what in moments of calm would be unthinkable. Actually, Minister Ribera is the one who has remained in no man’s land with her prayers to the Christian charity of the presidents of the electricity companies. The reduction in VAT arbitrated by the Government has not been of much use to consumers because the incessant rise in the cost of generation has drowned it, because the self-employed and companies that compensate the VAT have not been influenced in their expenses and because it is strangling to small marketers that pay their suppliers 21% VAT and can only pass 10% to the final consumer. These companies also have workers and some insurance companies will be forced to close as they cannot bear this financial cost.

The position of the socialist part of the Government is the most confused on this matter. Both Podemos and the PP are right, in their own way, to offer solutions that could be implemented and that they want to present as exclusive, although they should be complementary. Both approaches are partly right since, while it is true that there is a part of the receipt that comes from the different enlargements that governments of all kinds have made, it is also true that the incessant rise that occurs right now is directly related to the cost of generation and that is benefiting the large companies that have the largest amount of hydroelectric and nuclear generation, which are charging at the price of gas filling their coffers. The wrong thing is to think that both ways of dealing with the matter, that of Podemos and that of the PP, are incompatible because in reality they are not.

Let’s go by parts.

The problem that Podemos sees in the generation is real and that is why Ribera asks for misunderstood empathy. I explain it to you in the words of a text with a neoliberal vision: “the electricity companies, knowing that gas will be necessary in the mix and that it will enter at a very high price, take advantage of the opportunity cost and offer at a somewhat lower price the hydroelectric plant to enter the system earlier and then be paid at the price of gas. ” What seems to a neoliberal the lofty form of lining up or “opportunity cost” supposes that a common good of general interest such as water – the infrastructures have been amortized for a long time, like the nuclear ones – make us pay the expensive price of gas. and they are lined with it. It is very easy to name the practice and the benefits because it is very easy to know which large companies have the exploitation of most of these resources. It is not true that the price of an energy from the demand cannot be regulated and doing so does not threaten the market.

The problem that the PP raises also exists and is one of the key differences of the Spanish electricity bill with the European ones. Another thing is that he poses it in a tortuous way, which he does. When ETA planted bombs to prevent the construction of the Lemóniz nuclear power plant, little did we think that this would end up costing us 2,273 million euros, which we have paid on the electricity bill to compensate for its stoppage. Until 2015 we were paying the nuclear moratorium. So this started with the governments of the UCD and so we have all been sneaking from maintaining jobs in the coal basin of Asturias to compensation for the failed Castor, the difference in cost of bringing electricity to the Balearic Islands or Canary Islands, the deficit of renewables or the electricity uninterruptibility service, which the PP put in and ended last year, for which we compensated large industries in case we needed to make them stop forcibly in case there was not enough energy and that it was only used 5 hours in ten years. If we removed all that from the electricity bill and passed it to the Budgets, of course the consumer would be relieved! The point is that the popular ones put the emphasis on it to divert it from the Ibex companies and they are also so cynical that they say that from that part of the bill “the Government benefits”, as if they put it in their pocket, when they should say that goes to the State or everyone.

Casado intends with his statements and his spokesmen to put the focus on the Government and try to make it charge in its own budgets the cost that the governments of both the PP and the PSOE itself sneaked into us. Casado only intends to wear down the Government because if he really wanted to help, he would have proposed a pact to remove all that trash but with the support and commitment of both parties. After all, they have both used the mechanism. They will not.

Nor is it certain that the Government would suffer a great wear and tear if it freed us once and for all from that noose and it is not unlikely that it could be explained to Brussels that without this step, the special constitution of the Spanish electricity market with these prices could weigh down our recovery. .

I don’t know if I have shed any light on them. In any case, fear not, I am not going to charge you. Saying no more can be done and holding on is a minefield. Even Rajoy when he had a high in 2013 did stuff: stop the electric auction and request an inspection. Sending letters to Sánchez Galán – so receptive now that he is charged at the request of the Prosecutor’s Office – or to Bogas is not going to work.

Doing can be done. Even the light in our pockets can be done.


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