Fabian Demicoli

Gas distributors reach the end of the road


The issue affecting the livelihood of
gas distributors appears to remain beyond governance resolve. GRTU believes
that it is incredible that a government takes four long years to resolve a
relatively minor issue. An issue which does not take a genius to resolve
provided there is a will and there are no hidden agendas. Gas distributors have
since 1992 served the country well carting on their back gas cylinders on a
door to door basis for a pittance as a service charge.

The cost of a cylinder
of gas which has quadrupled since the gas distribution has been privatised
represents primarily the cost of the gas itself. the cost of transport and
distribution to the door step irrespective or whether one live in a house in
the periphery of the island, in narrow lanes, in stepped streets as in
Cottonera and Valletta or in high rise buildings it is at the expense of the
self employed gas distributor who can not according to contract charge a
different price according to cost of distribution his fee is a fee per cylinder
irrespective of distance and expense of delivery the gas distributor is obliged
by contract to sell the cylinders of all  competing firms. The local community is
served without the hassle of competing fleets of trucks in the narrow streets
of our small towns and villages this is a service that has served Malta well.

All Maltese governments labour or
nationalists have respected the contracted signed in 1992 by GRTU on behalf of
the gas distributors and Enemalta the then monopoly gas provider and also the
Energy licensing authority. Instigated by Liquigas know as the successors of
Enemalta as the dominant gas cylinders providers government is now determined
to change all this. This is the Bus tragedy all over again. They never learn,
they changed the old bus system to give us a new that serves the community in
no clear advantageous way. Now they want to do it again with gas distribution,
they want to smash the old distribution system just to have a new monopoly lead
by foreigners to dominate and dictate the way we buy gas in Malta.

GRTU has told the Prim Minister load
and clear that this is not acceptable there is no evidence what so ever that
the consumers want change form the Known to the unknown. It is ARRIVA all over
again. GRTU has given notice to government that if they want to proceed with
their incredible design to smash the old distribution system and pauperise the
old gas distributors who have served the public well for 20years they will find
the resistance not only of GRTU but of all those who have had enough of this
silly privatisation exercises which have delivered nothing but pain to the
community.

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