Access to energy - Mario Mifsud

The Times, 17 October 2007

The European Commission is effectively advocating the breaking up of national and regional energy monopolies and the entrusting of the production and distribution of energy to private operators.

Within the European Union itself there isn't a consensus regarding this question and whereas some countries are supporting the Commission, others are opposed. The latter countries are arguing that the breaking up of national and regional energy monopolies may undermine energy security and drive up prices for consumers.

Zminijietna believes that energy is a strategic asset which should be accessible to everyone. The production, transportation and distribution of energy cannot be left to the mercy of the market and should be entrusted to public operators equipped with the necessary industrial means.

These public operators should be accountable to the democratically elected governments, to workers and consumers, and should strive for a socially just balance between affordability and environmental sustainability.

Voice of the Left also believes that energy is an essential public service, and consequently is supporting the positions of the United Left in the European Parliament and of the European Trade Union Confederation.

The Maltese government should join the opposing countries in the EU fora. At the same time, it should do more to increase the share of renewable energy, and to have more renewable energy use, thus reducing energy dependence. Zminijietna also agrees with the option of laying a gas pipeline between Sicily and Malta to help meet the realistic energy demands in Malta.

Above all, Zminijietna - Voice of the Left believes that it is the government's duty to ensure affordable energy for everyone while encouraging sustainable use.