Fires burn in the streets as Buenos Aires residents protest power cuts during the record heat have in December 2013 - January 2014. Photo: Cortes / MercoPress

4 January 2013 (MercoPress) – Argentina sanctions power companies for repeated outages that affected millions

Federal Planning Minister Julio De Vido said the government of President Cristina Fernandez will not give in to “companies’ pressure’ that seek to reach a tariff hike.

“The system failed where there was no investment,” the minister affirmed accusing Edenor and Edesur of “extorting (the government) to obtain a tariff hike that will not come.”

“Here is no rescue for anyone,” the official warned saying the Cristina Fernández will only assist those who have been in the dark and coping with water shortages due to companies’ “negligence.”

Sanctions follow the “negligence and serious breach of the concession contract and the distribution service. The punishment involves compensation, replacement of devices that were damaged due to the power cuts and the payment of fines to be applied by the state and that could reach 17.8 million Pesos for Edesur and 7 million Pesos for Edenor.” Ten Argentine Pesos are needed to buy one US dollar. […]

Despite abundant rainfall on New Year's eve and the first day of 2014 which helped to moderate the heat wave, on Friday there were still protests and pickets because in some neighborhoods of Buenos Aires power was below the normal voltage forcing to turn off fridges and other electrical appliances. [more]

Argentina sanctions power companies for repeated outages that affected millions

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