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Argentine government criminally denounces electric company for massive cuts

Argentine government criminally denounces electric company for massive cuts

Government Argentinian filed a criminal complaint on Thursday against an electricity concessionaire of the Italian company In itas a result of massive power outages in Buenos Aires and its periphery that triggered street protests in the midst of the worst heat wave in more than a century.

“The report of the electricity regulator (Enre) is advancing with all the points that may be causal for the concession to be removed from the company,” said the presidential spokeswoman, Gabriela Cerruti at a press conference.

The criminal complaint will reach the entire board of the company Edesur (2.5 million customers), under charges of “fraud, abandonment of people and obstruction of public services”said the head of the energy regulator (Enre), Walter Martello, on his Twitter account.

Edesur’s main shareholder is the Italian energy giant ENEL, which became the new concessionaire in 2008, following the withdrawal of a Spanish firm. More than 14 million people live in the capital and its surrounding districts, integrated into a Metropolitan Area.

“We have not been notified yet. When we are, we will issue a statement”, dA spokesperson for the Communications Directorate of ENEL-Argentina told AFP.

Cerruti assured that the analysis will be done “with due care, because of the way in which the privatizations were done at the end of the 1990s, with a concession for almost 100 years (64 years to go). That no harm be generated to the State before international organizations”.

As of Thursday noon, more than 37,000 homes were still without electricity, although by Wednesday afternoon the figure had risen to 113,000, an average that had been repeated almost daily for the past two weeks.

Angry neighbors have been blocking streets and avenues, demonstrating with posters against the company and even on Wednesday kicking the doors of an Edesur office in the capital.

The heatwave hits the center of the country with 15 consecutive days of temperatures above 32 degrees Celsius, the worst in more than 117 years, according to the National Meteorological System.

The crisis began with a fire at a high-voltage tower in the periphery, which on March 1 left more than 20 million people without electricity, in a country of 45 million inhabitants.

Source: AFP

Source: Gestion

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