Bills tripled, Sardinian companies: “Close to the abyss”.  And families begin to unplug refrigerators - L'Unione

Bills tripled, Sardinian companies: “Close to the abyss”. And families begin to unplug refrigerators – L’Unione

«The fear is great. Not to sleep in it at night ». Michel Elias, director of Casar, the largest tomato processing company on the island, enters the shoes of any entrepreneur who has been experiencing the tragedy of high energy in recent months. “Many may be forced to stop soon, but certainly no one will want to go that far. For us, the harvest season has just begun and the bills will arrive in September, but we almost certainly expect a blow that will force us to revolutionize all the planning for next year, review the sales prices and the strategies to stay on the market ” . The manager is unable to hide his pessimism: “I don’t know how long we will be able to resist in these conditions, but it is unthinkable that in a modern country like ours the survival of companies that from one month to the next find themselves overwhelmed by price increases will not be guaranteed” .

Nobody excluded

The surge in gas and electricity prices is shaking the legs of all companies, even the most solid. Michela Contu, administrator of a meat processing company active in the Cagliari hinterland with dozens of employees and eight-figure turnover, knows something about it: “The July bill was close to 50 thousand euros, against the 13 thousand we are usually used to . A sting received despite all efforts to reduce consumption. We thus live in a limbo in which it is difficult to find solutions. There is no need to change supplier, because the price lists are similar, nor to hope for one-off government measures that do not meet our expectations. Instead, we need structural and concrete measures because the current situation is an unsustainable situation and we will not be able to amortize the increase in costs for a long time without having to quickly adjust consumer prices, or downsize investments and staff. At stake are the destinies of families who would need immediate answers, without waiting for the end of the electoral campaign and the formation of a new government. We need to act immediately, because every day that passes is a lost day ».

Hopes flared

The specter of bills looms over all sectors, even those apparently less “thirsty” for energy. Walter Mureddu, head of one of the most important cooperatives in the Oristano area, active in the production of meat, fruit and vegetables, vents all his discomfort: “Going from 5 thousand to 18 thousand euros in bills means putting into account hundreds of thousands of euro per year of extra costs. Under these conditions you can survive for a short time ».

Critical choices

The agri-food sector certainly does not feel excluded from the emergency. Gianni Maoddi, president of the Consortium for the protection of pecorino Romano, is the spokesperson for the many island dairies that have seen their energy bills multiply: “We are talking about hundreds of thousands of euros a year to be recovered,” he says. «A drain that puts many entrepreneurs before a very delicate choice. In fact, raising consumer prices has become almost essential to stay alive, but if you raise them too much you risk being crushed by competition. In short, we are at a crossroads and taking the wrong road could be disastrous ».

The families

A problem that also affects families, the middle class.

“How do I get by? As God wills ». Silvia Marongiu, 39, a husband and two teenage children, lives (rented house) in Assemini, and even tightening her belt she still considers herself among the lucky ones. «It will be little, but between my husband and I we manage to bring home 1,700 euros. Little, now that there is nothing left between bills and shopping, but I know many who are having a worse time ».

Silvia works in a cleaning company and now that the monthly pay is not enough she has had to look for an additional job. «At night I attend an elderly lady. My husband works for a shipping company, but even with her salary we can’t make it. How do I make ends meet if the electricity bill has gone from 130, 140 euros a year ago, to more than 300 euros? I no longer use the oven, I reduced the washing machines, ironed as little as possible, we died of heat because I also limited the dehumidifier, but nothing changes. What should I do? Are we in the dark in the house? ».

Giorgio Vargiu, president of Adiconsum Sardegna, collects stories of ordinary despair every day. “To make ends meet, families are giving up on treatment and reducing food spending,” he emphasizes. “It is families who pay the most for the exponential increase in the cost of living. More and more families are unable to pay their bills. There are those who confide in us that they have had to unplug the refrigerator, or even not turn on the light in the house ».


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