Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in early October for a few weeks
'Fair and softly goes far' - Miguel de Cervantes

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Iberdrola cuts power from Regional Government offices for non-payment

Iberdrola, a major electricity supplier in Spain, likes its electricity to be paid for. Not unusual, I think most will agree. Yesterday it took a 4-hour power cut at several unemployment and local government offices in various parts of Murcia to get payment of overdue bills authorised by the Regional Government.

Of course it caused disruption and inconvenience to many individual citizens trying to use these public services; as I know myself (from accompanying a friend on numerous occasions to various local government offices) some specific services are located many kilometres from where users live making getting there and back both expensive and time-consuming unless there is someone (such as me) able/willing to ferry someone about by car. I expect the first reaction of many is to criticise Iberdrola for its high-handed action, but it is probable that the cash-strapped situation in which the Regional Government finds itself means it is a serial slow- or non-payer whenever it thinks it can get away with it. This is a salutary reminder, however, that in order to generate electricity, Iberdrola will be buying massive quantities of gas or diesel oil or other fuels and I imagine its own suppliers would soon cut off supplies if it did not pay up on time, so it needs electricity consumers to pay up, too - and that includes local government users.

Perhaps those citizens inconvenienced by this fiasco will remember this incident when the next regional elections come around as an occasiob to remind the regional government of its responsibility for sound financial management of its own resources and not to squander public money on grandiose fantasy projects (for example, regional airports of questionable viability, think Corvera - whose physical completion was possible only as a result of a €300 million local government guarantee and has still not become operational and with no definite indication that it ever will).

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