OPINION

Burden of DEKOs

The financial information about public service companies (DEKOs) makes no mistake: The country’s public utilities have transformed into debt-amassing mechanisms. In the past three years alone, these companies’ debts have increased by 30 percent and it appears unlikely that anything will buck this trend. The combination of dubious financial management with a negative «social welfare policy» has provoked a ceaseless swelling of our debt. And part of this heavy burden falls on the shoulders of the State, which has provided guarantees for a quarter of DEKO loans. Public service companies, which theoretically constitute a fundamental axis for growth, are fast becoming a brake on development. Moreover, they are being suffocated by debts which continue to amass and so are unable to offer quality services in a competitive market where there are neither monopolies nor state protection. With their excessive debt and the low level of services they offer, DEKOs are becoming something more than an oppressive economic burden, as well as a burden on society. They do not only drain state coffers but are also beginning to restrict private ventures and citizens’ prosperity. Massive changes are necessary as the political forces behind this inertia are very strong indeed. Nevertheless, the current situation must not be perpetuated. If things continue as they are now, public service companies will be completely discredited. And the damage – both to our economy and to society – will be huge. All those opposing current efforts to purge corruption from the system should realize they are ensuring that disaster will come sooner rather than later.