PS will agree on "what is factual" in the report and safeguard that reversals do not harm consumers – The Economic Journal

PS will agree on "what is factual" in the report and safeguard that reversals do not harm consumers - The Economic Journal


The Socialist Party (PS) will present "several proposals for amendments" to the preliminary version of the final report of the Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry into Excessive Energy Rents, drafted by bloc member Jorge Costa. The party says it will agree on "what is factual" and that it propose amendments to the recommendations presented in the report, in particular as regards the reversals.

"The PS will adopt a constructive position in relation to the report of the committee of inquiry, with the aim of improving some points of the document," says Socialist deputy Hugo Costa. "We will table a number of proposals for amendments, although we agree with some of the issues raised, but still disagree with some of the solutions presented in the report."

The Socialist Hugo Costa guarantees that the PS will do "a serious job regardless of who was in the Government at the time". Regarding the alleged exchange of favors between EDP and Manuel Pinho, Hugo Costa says there are emails which validate the conclusion that José Socrates' ex-minister would have made favorable decisions to EDP when he was in government in return for going to the United States to teach at a university sponsored by EDP itself.

Hugo Costa also says that the PS will adopt measures that "safeguard that any reversals are made only without further costs to the consumer."

The preliminary version of the report concludes that there was an alternative to compensations (called contractual equilibrium costs and better known by CMEC), given by the State to the utility after the energy market liberalization imposed by Brussels, but excessive energy rents have been, according to MEPs, a political choice of governments over the past 20 years. The aim was for EDP to be privatized, they conclude.

The report recalls that the energy regulator accounted for 510 million euros of rents paid over by the state to EDP since July 2007, when the CMECs came into force. This compensation instrument had been created three years earlier, in December 2004, by the Government of Pedro Santana Lopes. António Mexia was then Minister of Public Works.

At the time, EDP was one of the beneficiaries of the Energy Acquisition Contracts (CAE), which ensured long-term remuneration conditions for producers financing the construction of power plants in the 1990s, and which the CMEC have compensated. The report underlines that the contractual balance was not respected at various times, which resulted in excessive rents.

In the same year that the CMECs came into force, EDP and the Government agreed to extend the concession of several dams, which allowed EDP to continue and continue to receive money from the CMEC until 2027, when it ends the concession contract of the last dam.

The deputy responsible for the commission's report, which ran for 10 months and held more than 50 hearings, underlines that the contractual balance has not been respected at various times and recalls that the energy regulator accounted for EUR 510 million of rents paid by the EDP.



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