Neuquén (Agenzia Fides) - The Bishops of the Patagonia-Comahue region who are "deeply concerned about the consequences of the vast increases of essential services such as gas and electricity" which affects mostly the poorest people, wrote a letter to the Minister of energy, Juan José Aranguren, and to the Interior, Rogelio Frigerio. The region includes the provinces of Chubut, Neuquén, Río Negro, Santa Cruz, Tierra del Fuego. The letter is signed by 11 Bishops, including ordinary, auxiliary and emeritus Bishops of the dioceses of the region.
In the letter, sent to Fides, the Bishops do not question the necessity of the increases, "especially in large urban centers that have had services subsidized by the state", but complain "that these increases were not made gradually, especially if one considers that winter is not generous in Patagonia. Therefore there is an urgent need for gas and electricity".
"We hear the painful lament of our people every day – they continue - through our priests, pastoral workers and parish Caritas, who feel powerless in the face of the anguish of the poor and needy, and of many small and medium-sized enterprises, which see their business continuity with the consequent loss of jobs threatened".
The Bishops therefore ask ministers to reconsider the measures, "to avoid unsustainable situations that produce anxiety in families and in schools and in the work of social promotion with scarce resources", and reiterated that such fees "for most of the Amazon region are impossible to pay and threaten social peace". (SL) (Agenzia Fides 01/06/2016)