Desperate calls for help from some readers have been reaching us for weeks. Your electricity bill would have increased massively. Some electricity suppliers would announce this in separate letters – some people have already had their electricity cut off because they can no longer pay the high bills.
A comment by Willi Huber
In the last few days, many Austrians have received unexpected mail from their energy suppliers. Especially those who have switched providers and opted for a “flexible” tariff, which is based on electricity prices as traded on the stock markets, are now on the brink of despair. Because of stock market speculation, the prices went through the roof. In practice, the result can be a fivefold increase in the price of electricity. E-Control gives on their homepage Price increases between 10 and 250 percent at. The Salzburger Nachrichten wrote recently from a tripling of electricity costs.
In the worst case, this means that anyone who has managed to get away with electricity costs of 50 euros per month will have to pay 250 euros in the future – a catastrophe for low-income households. The one-time government subsidy of 150 euros will not help for long. The problem is known to those in government, the Chamber of Labour already called for this at the end of 2021urgent countermeasures.
Putin’s gas has nothing to do with it
What is particularly perfidious is that the blame is being shifted onto Russia, Putin and the gas supplies. This is wrong across the board, because Austria only gets 6% of its own electricity needs from gas – the majority is covered by hydropower. In addition, half of the gas requirement can be covered by deposits in the country. OMV has 2021 reduced oil and gas production. The ORF published the stupid information (sorry, you can’t and don’t want to put it any nicer) that the world would be increasingly “electrified”. It is obvious that some early school leavers working there do not understand that electricity does not come from the socket but has to be produced somewhere in power plants.
Expropriation due to speculation and politics
The fact is that a maximum of 3% of the domestic electricity price may depend on the Russian price and supply strategy. So if you now quintuple the electricity prices (in the case of old contracts, the increase is between 20 and 80 percent), you have to ask why.
The price increases can be explained by the dynamics of speculation on the stock markets – but certainly also by political decisions. Here an expropriation is happening on a massive scale, with cost prescriptions that cannot be explained with the actual services behind it. This measure will also lead to increased inflation.
risk of social unrest
If the population has not taken to the streets due to corona measures and mandatory vaccinations, there is a high chance that they will do so at the moment when their existence is threatened by power cuts. Everyone involved is risking social unrest here that the country has not experienced since the Second World War. In numerous countries, people have already taken to the streets because fuel prices have been arbitrarily increased.
There is no denying that liberalizing the electricity market was a massive mistake. A functioning energy supply is one of the basic pillars of a modern society. Leaving this vital commodity to stock market fluctuations and speculators is grossly negligent and to the grave detriment of the populace, who are once again being shamelessly plundered. A state that is unable to meet the basic needs of its citizens is a total failure. This is where the incompetence of incompetent government personnel comes into playen that prefers to deal with gender asterisks, “hate on the net” and other marginalized group issues instead of perceiving real problems and solving them in a timely manner. This government must step down, preferably yesterday.