Catalonia: Alliance against Energy Poverty

Dear all,

in mainstream media the Catalan question is discussed under labels as nationalism, sectarianism or regional egoism of a wealthy region, that doesn’t want to share its fiscal revenues with the poor brothers and sisters in other regions of Spain.

Rarely focus is put on the social and democratic question, that is the main cause of the call for autonomy.

As CUP-speaker Quim Arrufat and the Catalan President Carles Puigdemont put it: The question is about democracy itself and sovereignty of the people.

For years there are lots of local initiatives, assemblies, collectives, support groups that want to ease the brutal impacts of financial and economic crisis as well as explore and practice forms of a cooperative economy, in a long lasting anarcho-syndicalist tradition of Catalonia.

A big problem in Spain is cut-offs of energy (light and gas) and even water because people can’t pay the bills. In Catalonia there founded different groups an Alliance against Energy Poverty that shows an example, how to build up a cooperative society, and grass-roots democracy.

See the article below, full text attached, emphasis added ES.

With kind regards

Elke Schenk

Energy struggles:

combating energy poverty in Catalonia

Posted on 1. September 2016 by mel

A diverse range of social and environmental collectives have come together in the past few years in Barcelona to form the Alliance Against Energy Poverty, successfully mobilising and fighting to stop energy and water cuts for families unable to pay their bills.* […]

Increasingly unequal distributional effects have become more visible as energy and water companies generate exorbitant profits due to deregulation, government subsidies and increasing prices. This model is based in the logic of the capitalist appropriation of nature, which results in energy poverty for the many and mammoth profits for a handful of companies and their CEOs and shareholders.

Spain is one country where energy poverty – understood here as limited or no access to basic services such as water, electricity and gas due to a person’s inability to pay – has increased dramatically with the crisis. 17% of the population have difficulties paying their electricity, gas or water bills.

Within the context of growing rates of energy poverty specifically in Catalonia, here I explore the energy struggles of the Aliança contra la pobresa energètica (the Alliance Against Energy Poverty – APE), focusing on their strategies, ways of organising and lessons learned. Their success is based on uniting historic and current street-based movements with technical entities to bridge social, ecological and political issues, creating social clamour and building solutions at grassroots as well as institutional levels.

APE, formed in 2013 by neighbourhood associations, workers’ assemblies and water and housing rights platforms, aims to guarantee universal access to basic services (water, electricity and gas), to avoid indiscriminate service cuts and to defend human rights.

A brief overview of energy inequalities in Catalonia is first outlined to contextualise the APE’s struggle. Based on an interview with two APE activists, attending a collective advising assembly in Barcelona, as well as the APE’s published materials and website, focus is then placed on APE and how they act on various fronts.

Why act? Energy inequalities in Spain, Catalonia and beyond

The Spanish electricity system is captured by a handful of powerful companies, which are impoverishing Spanish people, a situation that has become more extreme after eight years of crisis alongside increasing levels of unemployment and precariousness. The electricity oligopoly that operates in Spain – including Endesa (Enel), Gas Natural-Fenosa, Iberdrola, EON Espanya and EDP – registered €7.6 billion in profit during the first three trimesters of 2013, double that of other European electricity companies.

The University of Barcelona researcher Aurèlia Mañé Estrada highlights the depth of their power in stating that Iberdrola and Endesa control outright the legislative branch of the Ministry of Industry and Energy. Endesa alone, the main distributor of electricity in Catalonia, declared over €1.8 billion in profit in 2013. Such exorbitant profits are also fruit of a 60% increase in electricity prices since 2008. […]

The price of water has increased 65% since 2008 and the Spanish Association of Environmental Sciences notes that in the Barcelona metropolitan area alone, the number of water supply cuts rose from 27,359 in 2011 to 72,039 in 2012. […]

APE: uniting street-based social movements and technical entities

To combat and find solutions to these injustices, the Alliance Against Energy Poverty (APE) was founded in November 2013 to unite a range of entities to fight for the right of all to basic energy, gas and water supplies.

APE brings together various entities, diverse in their ideological positions and in their ways of organising, like street-based social movements, both recent and historic, and more technical entities, which have worked on electricity, gas or water issues for years. While such a strategy has its challenges, as each movement has many actions and some participants don’t have the energy to engage in everything, overall APE is made stronger through the complementarity of its groups.

The technical entities lack a movement vision, while the street-based movements lack a lot of information to really understand what is happening”, as one activist explained. In this way, “each component teaches each other and learns from one another. We are not two fronts; we work together.”



Hinweis zur Alternativen Presseschau

Seit des Putsches gegen die gewählte Regierung unter dem gewählten Präsident der Ukraine, Viktor Janukowitsch, und den teilweise von westlichen Politiker*innen und Medien einseitig unterstützten gewaltsamen Vorgängen auf dem Maidan fanden sich aktuelle Nachrichten zur Entwicklung um und in den sich für autonom erklärten Gebieten der Ostukraine.

Gerne habe ich die Leser*innen meines Blogs an diesen kostbaren, gut recherchierten und aus pluralen Quellen (meist in russischer oder ukrainischer Sprache verfassten) vor Ort gespeisten Nachrichtenquellen (manchmal etwas zeitverzögert) teilhaben lassen.

Da nicht immer alle aktuellen Schwerpunkte von mir gleichmäßig verfolgt werden können, stelle ich vom 14.11.2017 an die kontinuierliche Berichterstattung und das Teilen von Berichten der Alternativen Presseschau ein.

Allen Interessierten empfehle ich ein Abonnieren des Blogs von Liselotte Mayer um auf dem Laufenden zu bleiben. Außerdem stellt ihr Blog ein reichhaltiges Archiv zur Ukraine, den Republiken Donezk und Luhansk bereit:

An dieser Stelle sei allen Recherchierenden und Übersetzenden für ihre wichtige Arbeit gedankt! Ich wünsche dem Blog und seinem Anliegen weiterhin viel Erfolg und eine wachsende Leserschaft!

Den Menschen in den selbständigen Republiken und in der Ukraine ein friedliches und selbstbestimmtes Leben!

Stephan Best


Presseschau vom 13.11.2017 — Alternative Presseschau

Quellen: Itar-Tass, Interfax, Ria Novosti, sputniknews,,, hinzu kommen Informationen der Seiten dnr-online, lnr-portal, Novorossia, dnr-news, novorosinform u.a. sowie die offiziellen Seiten der Regierungen der Volksrepubliken dan-news, lug-info. Wir beziehen manchmal auch ukrainische Medien, z.B. BigMir, UNIAN, Ukrinform, KorrespondenT und die Online-Zeitung Timer aus Odessa ein. Zur besseren Unterscheidung der Herkunft der Meldungen sind Nachrichtenquellen aus […]

über Presseschau vom 13.11.2017 — Alternative Presseschau

Presseschau vom 12.11.2017 — Alternative Presseschau

Quellen: Itar-Tass, Interfax, Ria Novosti, sputniknews,,, hinzu kommen Informationen der Seiten dnr-online, lnr-portal, Novorossia, dnr-news, novorosinform u.a. sowie die offiziellen Seiten der Regierungen der Volksrepubliken dan-news, lug-info. Wir beziehen manchmal auch ukrainische Medien, z.B. BigMir, UNIAN, Ukrinform, KorrespondenT und die Online-Zeitung Timer aus Odessa ein. Zur besseren Unterscheidung der Herkunft der Meldungen sind Nachrichtenquellen aus […]

über Presseschau vom 12.11.2017 — Alternative Presseschau

Raul ZELIK Nur die halbe Geschichte

Nur die halbe Geschichte

Von Raul Zelik
Datum: 15.11.2017

Für viele deutsche Medien ist Carles Puigdemont ein politischer Hasardeur, Mariano Rajoy ein gesetzestreuer Ministerpräsident, der bisweilen ein wenig über die Stränge schlägt. Und am Ende wollen die Katalanen bloß nicht teilen. Unser Autor widerspricht. (…)

Quelle: Nur die halbe Geschichte

Russia’s Alleged Meddling in Catalan Vote: Playing the Blame Game — articles by Ralf Streck and Alex Gorka

globalcrisis/globalchange NEWS
Martin Zeis, 15.11.2017

Dear all,

concurrently with Ralf STRECK’s article „Die Russen sollen sich auch in Katalonien eingemischt haben“(1) Alex GORKA published „Russia’s Alleged Meddling in Catalan Vote: Playing the Blame Game“.(2) He demonstrates how the Spanish government + media, the EU, the NATO leadership increasingly blame/d Russia interfering in and operating Catalonian affairs.

E x t r a c t s

„Few people are able to recognize their own mistakes. Many prefer to deny the truth becoming willfully oblivious to obvious facts. Why assume responsibility if there is such a thing as blame shifting – a true-and-tried method to get away with it? Pointing a finger at someone else to divert attention serves the purpose. There is method to this madness and Western politicians have been resorting to blame-shifting tactic increasingly often. Each and everything going awry in the world is the fault of Russia. The drive of peoples for independence is a good example. Take Catalonia to illustrate the point. (3)


Can anyone of sane mind believe that Russia’s “meddling” is the real reason to make over 40 percent of Catalans support independence?

  • Has Russia been behind the 95-year-old independence movement in Catalonia
  • Has Russia made the Catalans’ language and culture distinct?
  • Did Russia make Francisco Franco oppress the Catalan people?
  • Has Russia provoked the economic crisis in Spain, which has served to magnify calls for Catalan independence?
  • Has Russia made Catalans believe that the current tax structure is unfair?
  • Has Russia made Madrid unwilling to renegotiate Catalonia’s autonomy agreement?
  • Has Russia written Spain’s constitution, which expressly prohibits a region from breaking away unilaterally?
  • Did Moscow order Spanish police to use brutal force, while preventing the unconstitutional vote?
  • If it didn’t count, why take such pains to stop it?
  • Several world leaders and political figures condemned the violence specifically. Did Russia make them do it?
  • Did Russia make the EU abstain from mediation effort? And, finally, does Russia stand to gain from an independent Catalonia?

With many publications on the issue, no evidence has been produced to demonstrate a link between the Russian government and Catalonia vote. Obviously, the use of the „Russian meddling“ narrative seems to work as a distraction from the wrongdoing of the Spanish government. The fantasy provides a convenient scapegoat to avoid responsibility of the Spanish government for missing opportunities to launch meaningful political dialogue with Catalonia and mishandling of the vote. (…)


(1) Telepolis, 14.11.2017 —

(2)  Strategic Culture Foundation, 14.11.2017  —

(3) The same Western blame-games are evident related to the last US-presidential elections, the unspeakable crimes of the US-created IS-mercenaries, the Brexit  …