The government of Milei committed to applying tariffs of 200% on electricity and 150% on gas starting in February and “continuous” increases in the urban passenger transport rate. This commitment was reflected in the report of the IMF staff in its seventh review of the Argentine program.

The elimination of energy subsidies is a requirement of the Fund to guarantee the so-called “fiscal balance” or “zero fiscal deficit.” Its consequence is the downloading of exorbitant rates to users to continue guaranteeing the profit of the companies concessionaires of these services. With the new increases that the government wants to impose, a household with “reasonable consumption” will spend $40,000 per month on electricity and gas.

Edenor and Edesur had million-dollar profits in 2023. This is demonstrated by their financial statements: Edesur’s profits amount to $79,732 million; and in the case of Edenor they were $48,371 million.

In its press release, Edesur assures profits of $79,732 million.

Edesur’s profit in 2023 was lower than that of 2022, but it is worth clarifying (the company highlights this in its statement) that the result for the year that year contemplated the effects of the two agreements signed during December 2022 between Edesur and the authorities of the Government of Alberto Fernández. One of the agreements recognized the company $5,405 million in total income from electricity consumption in popular neighborhoods between January and December 2021; and in another “a recognition of operating income for $121,386 million, a recovery of financial costs for $42,750 million, and its corresponding impact on the “Income tax” line.”

Refering to investment, a drop is also seen from 2022 to 2023. The company argues the divestment due to an “increase in the financial debt contracted with companies of the Enel Argentina group, to finance the Company’s operation.” That is, a self-debt with the parent company, the company that owns the largest share package. A somewhat well-known business.

In March of last year, the National Electricity Regulatory Entity (ENRE) decreed the company’s intervention for 180 days, following interruptions in the electrical service it suffered during the heat waves that occurred that summer and which harmed 180,000 customers. Recently, Edesur was once again in the eye of the storm, after the explosion of a substation, which left 60,000 Caballito users without power for four days.

In the case of Edenor, in addition to the million-dollar profit recorded in 203, there is a 130% increase in the price of its shares in dollarswhich went from $7 to $16 per share during 2023.

Edenor’s share price in dollars went from $7 to $16 during 2023.

Who are its millionaire owners?

The Italian company Enel owns 70% of Edesur’s shares. In 2023, the recorded income of this group reached $492,223 million. Milei had promised more benefits to the CEO of the Italian company, Flavio Cattaneo, before his trip to Davos. Enel’s main shareholder is the Italian State, whose prime minister, the far-right Giorgia Meloni, is an admirer of Mussolini and shares an ideology with Milei.

Milei and Meloni after their meeting in Rome. Photo EFE

Edenor has among its owners: José Luis Manzano, former Justicialist deputy for Mendoza, who had declared himself optimistic with the new Government: “if Milei’s economic policy can be implemented, it has all the conditions to provoke massive investment.” Manzano currently lives in Switzerland with his family for some time.

Its other owners are Mauricio Filiberti, nicknamed the King of Chlorine, who has anchored in the Mediterranean valued at more than 30 million dollars; and Daniel Vila, the businessman who owns the América media group, a renowned massista who is threatening to fire 250 workers.

Privatized with terrible service but with juicy profits

Through ENRE Resolutions No. 118/2024, No. 125/2024 and No. 126/2024, the National Electricity Regulatory Entity applied new sanctions to EDENOR and EDESUR for repeated anomalies in matters of electrical safety on public roads and for various breaches in the quality of commercial service. The total amount of the fines amounts to $267,096,414.84.

Also through Resolution No. 118/2024, this National Entity sanctioned EDENOR after having detected 29 anomalies contrary to electrical safety on public roads, and verified in inspections that were carried out between January and April 2023.

Both companies are electricity distributors in the AMBA, with almost 6 million users. Although their reports for their shareholders show 85% approval among their users, we know that the anger against these companies is widespread. After years of disinvestment, the service is getting worse with power outages that last several days, affecting merchants who lose their merchandise and neighbors who are forced to endure high temperatures without electricity and be left without water and elevators in their buildings.

The different governments have subsidized huge profits and forgiven million-dollar debts, despite the terrible service, a legacy of Menemism that was not touched by subsequent governments. Now Milei promises rates of more than 150% for March alone, more profits for foreign companies and billionaires at the expense of our pockets, and terrible service.

It is necessary to expropriate and nationalize these privatized companies and put them under the management of their workers and users to provide an economical and efficient service according to our needs and not in favor of their profits. Guaranteeing that their access is an essential right, against the current tariffs that fall more heavily on the popular sectors. And on the path to fighting for a transition of the energy matrix in harmony with the environment.


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