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With 41.5 degrees of actual temperature in this city last Friday, the second highest since 1957, the rains arrive, but they still cannot sufficiently quell the heated spirits. From the overheated asphalt, Buenos Aires exudes an unbearable torpor that overwhelms those who have no choice but to move around the district. The lack of rainfall, the descent of the rivers and the grass fires in different parts of the suburbs, and the country, also complicate the torrid scenario and activate the desperate work of the emergency committees.

The first massive cut of the year that affected more than 700,000 users for several hours –even days for many– opened the season last Tuesday. Several followed, intermittent or prolonged, to the beat of record demand. The website itself Electricity Regulatory Entity (ENRE) stopped working while each home throbbed –and throbs– the fear of becoming the next affected. In Buenos Aires, a privileged metropolis with subsidized services, nobody wants to pay for electricity what it is worth, but we all feel entitled to claim it. Specialists confirm that towards the end of the era macri, after that resisted tariff adjustment, the porteños paid around 80% of the real value of the service. Given the elapsed time and rampant inflation, Currently it is estimated that what was paid for the service would barely cover 20% of its cost.

It is worth remembering that what the inhabitant of the city of Buenos Aires saves when paying the electricity bill is what will not be used for the necessary investments and the maintenance of a network with many meters of cable of more than 85 years old. You should also not forget that what their fellow citizens pay from any other point in the interior of the country exceeds, by far, the derisory rates of the AMBA. Tariff adjustments are paid in pesos and in political costs. Meanwhile, energy providers choose to pay the fines because it is less onerous than making the investments.

Reviewing the affected neighborhoods or dwelling on the enormous list of damages of all kinds that supply cuts cause would be repetitive. Yes, we can point out that the delicate economic and health crisis that we are going through seriously aggravates the situation and that it contributes to fueling the growing discomfort and discomfort of citizens.

I don’t know what else is going to happen to us in Argentina”, was the “sensible” comment of the President in reference to the heat wave typical of the summer season. Applying the same logic that leads to raising taxes to cover expenses, instead of lowering the latter, the Government requests the collaboration of the population to reduce energy consumption. In this context, he explained that the demand to moderate the consumption that he made to the industries, which forces them to “stop production a little”, pursues “that households do not suffer cuts”.

Not satisfied with the measure to try to adapt a sheet -obviously- short, the Government sent all the agents of the national public administration home in these days of peak temperatures so that the organizations that house them during their working days can reduce the consumption. Another challenge to sanity of whom we understand that ten people in a room will consume less light and less air conditioning than those same ten people teleworking each in their home. This is not the first time that a holiday of these characteristics has been authorized to save electricity: in 1989 the same resource was used, with scheduled cuts of four hours a day. Any excuse is valid to relax the demands on those whose salaries are guaranteed thanks to citizen efforts. The Buenos Aires governor adhered to the measure, while the city of Buenos Aires opposed it, which maintained presence in its dependencies.

For more than half a century, the country’s energy situation has held users hostage, with profit for politicians. They will blame progress that demands power for more devices; They will highlight that it is the rich who have more air conditioners, while many manage to hang from a cable, in a humble home or in a mansion in the suburbs. Neanderthals did not grapple with these issues.

Fortunately, the President can also recognize that the problems with energy supply are not resolved. However, from these columns we are able to anticipate that the heat wave will pass, that the summer will be behind us once again, and that the massive cuts, God willing, will be a bad memory deactivated only until the next summer season. We will alternate with the problems and costs of gas supply in winter.

This is how we live, attacking problems with patches in the emergency and repeatedly letting them get fat in times of calm. In the meantime, let’s light candles and pray.


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