ČEZ is getting fed up: Albanian people left in the darkness with no water

In its ongoing battle against the Albanian government, the local regulatory agency, and a host of bad debtors, CEZ Shpërndarje, the Albanian affiliate of the half-state-owned Czech energy holding ČEZ, is rolling out its big guns.

Tomorrow, it will cut off several water companies whose combined overdue electricity bills amount to €38m. This may cause cuts in drinking water supply, and could set off riots around the country. Over the last few days, rallies against CEZ Shpërndarje have taken place in the streets of several towns that have been shrouded in darkness as a result of unpaid bills. The largest demonstrations – where people complained that, on account of individual debtors, CEZ Shpërndarje applied the collective liability principle to whole municipalities – happened in Ostree, and in Gjorica.

Rejecting any such allegations, ČEZ maintains that the service was discontinued only for “incorrigible debtors”. All-town blackouts would be due to the fact that many disconnected debtors were trying to re-connect illegally, which would cause network failures.

For the alleged collective disconnecting, CEZ Shpërndarje came under the scrutiny of ERE, the Albanian energy regulatory agency. ERE intends to analyse all the company’s files, and to decide on a fine, if any, on the basis of the result.

Translated by Lingvus

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