ROME, October 3 – Novosti. Protests have begun in several major cities in Italy against a sharp increase in electricity and gas tariffs, news channel SkyTg24 reported .
The speeches of workers and entrepreneurs are organized at the call of the Italian trade union Usb on the International Day against Crisis and High Costs, which was announced on October 3 by the World Federation of Trade Unions.
In its appeal, Usb calls for “confronting the hyperbolic 60 percent increase in electricity bills announced since October 1.” The document emphasizes that the EU is not making any real efforts to combat the speculation that has caused gas prices to skyrocket. At the same time, the leadership of the trade union draws attention to the “mysterious” attack on the Nord Stream gas pipeline , as a result of which the United States received a clear benefit .
Recalling that the governments of the EU countries continue to spend huge public funds for military support of Ukraine , Usb emphasizes that such a policy threatens the economic collapse of many Italian families and businesses.
“The situation is very serious. The increase in prices is caused by the choice of governments that remain in imperialist positions and the shameful speculation that large companies are engaged in. Energy must be public. This is the only way to set a price ceiling,” Enzo Miccoli, head of the Turin branch of Usb, said at the rally.
A similar rally was held in the center of Naples , where one of the protesters burned his electricity and gas bills. In the administrative center of the Sardinia region, the city of Cagliari , activists protested in front of the regional offices of the Enel electricity concern and the largest state pension fund Inps.
In the evening, protests will be held in Rome, Milan, Florence, Pisa, Spoleto and other Italian cities.
Members of the new social movement “We Don’t Pay” are also ready to join the trade union activists, who are calling on Italians to stop paying utility bills, the rates for which have increased significantly in recent months.
The Italian State Regulatory Authority for Energy, Grids and the Environment (Arera) found that in the third quarter of 2022, the so-called unified national price of electricity increased by almost four times compared to the first quarter. In this regard, the regulator has taken additional measures in order to contain further growth in energy prices. In particular, it was determined that in the fourth quarter the price of electricity should increase by 59 percent, while initially it should have doubled. The decision on gas prices is expected to be made in early November. The media do not rule out that tariffs will increase by about 70 percent.
After the start of the Russian special operation to demilitarize and denazify Ukraine, the West stepped up sanctions pressure on Moscow: Russian assets worth hundreds of billions of dollars were frozen, the European Union has already adopted seven packages of restrictive measures, including an embargo on coal and oil. But all this turned into problems for the Western countries themselves, provoking a sharp increase in inflation and food and fuel prices.
As Vladimir Putin noted, the policy of containing and weakening Russia is a long-term strategy of the West, and its main goal is to worsen the lives of millions of people. At the same time, Moscow will solve all the problems that are created for it, and in the event of a restriction in energy prices, it will not supply anything abroad if this is contrary to its interests, the head of state said.