March 9, 2014
Gov't insists power outage is 'companies' responsibility'
Although reporters inquired the cabinet chief about different matters –from the refinancing of provincial debts to poverty rates recently disclosed by the Social Observatory of the Argentine Catholic University that contradicts the government’s own figures-, Jorge Capitanich was put under fire over the power outages affecting hundreds of families across the country.
“Reality is there is a contract and companies must comply with it,” the head of ministers stated saying energy providers Edenor and Edesur are the only "responsible" for the "distribution problems" that have left Argentineans in Buenos Aires City and other provinces in the country in the dark over the past two weeks.
Although Capitanich agreed a “prolonged” heat wave is hitting hard on the South American country taking the levels of energy consumption to new record highs, the official insisted on companies’ “incapability to guarantee power distribution.”
“The contract establishes that companies must provide their service following quality standards. Companies are the only responsible, they must inform their clients (about the problem) and carry out (investment) plans,” Jorge Capitanich assured and warned the government energy watchdog has the faculty to “terminate” the concession contract if Edenor and Edesur fail to provide the energy service.
Over the past days, residents from several neighbors in Buenos Aires City –Villa Crespo, Caballito, Lugano among others- decided to take their claims to the streets blocking key roads across the capital, many of them suffering a 10-day power outage, shop owners losing their goods, forced to throw away rotting food.
Regarding the protests, the cabinet chief called for “reasonableness” in order not to affect “others” but agreed, insited, “people just want the electrical service to be restored” and "companies must solve the problem."