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Dec 28, 2001

CAPU claims victory for their corner

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Of course, CAPU is calling the stop order a victory for their corner. According to President of the Public Service Union and a member of the CAPU team Margaret Ventura, even though G.O.B. has now actively joined the negotiation discussion, they will not stop their protests against B.T.L.’s price hikes until there’s a roll back in rates.

Margaret Ventura, CAPU

“It is certainly a big victory. It is a step in the right direction. We feel that it is now going to pave the way for that final victory that people are looking forward to, that the rate increase is rolled back so that people do not have to undergo the pressures that they would have to, to find any extra money to pay B.T.L. It is unfair, we maintain that, and we will pursue it relentlessly to ensure that that does not happen. In the meantime, CAPU will continue on its campaign, meeting with relevant representative groups and keeping this issue with the people. There will be meetings of the House of Representatives committee, and we will be publicising those meetings and encouraging people to go and air their views. The public pressure must continue.”

But this moral victory might be nothing more than that, as it is not clear what effect, if any, this stop order will have on the average consumer’s bill. According to B.T.L.’s financial controller, Gaspar Aguilar, as far as the company is concerned, they stand by the rates they announced in early December and will be using those rates on bills until their lawyers tell them to do otherwise. Aguilar told News 5 he was unable to comment further because they were issued the stop order just after noon today and their lawyers are still reviewing the document. No doubt Government’s intervention now is in light of the Public Utilities Commission being tied up in the Supreme Court with B.T.L. over their proposed public hearings.

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