MADRID – Due to the high energy price, 11% of Spaniards cannot keep their house warm in winter. According to European Union (EU) data, electricity and gas increases, mean many families will choose not to heat their homes.
Instead, they will opt for thick sweaters, bathrobes, and fleece blankets. The European statistics agency Eurostat published the survey on Friday, the results of which refer to 2020. In Catalonia, 55.6% of the families cared for by Cáritas “cannot pay these bills”, emphasises the president of the institution, Anna Roig.
The situation affects 8.2% of the European population
Eurostat also reveals that this situation affects 8.2% of the EU’s total population. Bulgarians are among those with the biggest problems keeping their house warm during the coldest months of the year. As 27.5% of citizens say they can’t pay their energy bills.
Lithuanians follow closely with 23.1% and Cypriots with 20.9%. On the better side of this statistic are the Swiss, where only 0.3% of citizens are in this situation, Norwegians (0.8%), and Austrians (1.5%).
Price rise continues
Experts warn that the rise in electricity prices will continue in the coming months due to the rise in gas prices. Just last week, the Spanish Minister for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge of Spain, Teresa Ribera, announced “it is not excluded” that high prices will still be recorded “well into 2022”.
Faced with this situation, Ribera pointed to the need to “build inclusive capitalism and pay attention to social measures, justice, and aspects of solidarity”.
In addition, Europe’s gas reserves are at their lowest level in the past 10 years. This situation is exacerbated by the definitive closure of the Maghreb-Europe gas pipeline (GME). The pipeline has supplied natural gas to Spain and Portugal via Morocco for 25 years.