PCP in the European Parliament defends the “public control” of the energy sector in Portugal – Observer
The PCP bench in the European Parliament defends this Wednesday the recovery of “public control” of the energy sector in Portugal, at a time of global crisis in the electricity and gas markets, criticizing “the increase in prices” in the country.
“The rise in energy prices in Portugal – one of the countries of the European Union [UE] where energy is more expensive and where 19% of the Portuguese had difficulties in 2019 in paying the electricity bill – it is related to the process of liberalization, privatization and deregulation carried out by successive governments of the PS, PSD and CDS, implementing European policies for the sector”, criticizes the communist MEP Sandra Pereira.
In a statement to Lusa news agency on the day that the escalation of electricity prices due to global increases in gas was under debate at the plenary session of the European assembly, in the French city of Strasbourg, one official pointed out that “the results [da privatização de empresas com a EDP e a REN] are in sight”.
“Rising prices, service degradation, energy deficit, reduction of labor rights, all in the name of the growing profits of the monopoly groups that dominate the sector”, listed the elected member of the PCP, these statements for not having had the opportunity to intervene in the debate in the hemicycle.
For Sandra Pereira, “Recovering public control of this strategic sector, determinant for the country’s independence and sovereignty, is essential to ensure adequate and energy accessibility, putting the interests of the people and the country first”.
The matter was debated this Wednesday at the plenary session of the European assembly.
At the start of the discussion, a European Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, argued that, as a response to the “unexpected crisis” in the energy sector, EU member states should ease taxes on families and finance small businesses, also announcing a market reform of the gas.
Rising prices threaten to exacerbate energy poverty in the EU, not least as citizens are still recovering from the Covid-19 crisis and who struggled to pay their heating bills in the fall and winter.
Next week, the European Commission will issue guidelines to help member states deal with the current crisis in the energy sector, within the scope of current EU regulations, proposing measures for countries to adopt at the national level.
In December, the community executive will present a package of initiatives on the energy sector.