Electricity and gas rates reach 100 million pesos

The National University of Comahue (UNCO) is facing a severe financial crisis due to the lack of transfers agreed by the national government and the drastic increase in public service rates. The rector, Beatriz Gentile, has expressed her concern about the situation, after learning that electricity and gas rates have reached 100 million pesos, which seriously complicates the functioning of the institution.

“We are in a very complicated situation, we have not received the transfer of what the national government agreed upon. In May, I had signed with the president and vice president of the National Interuniversity Council (CIN) an increase in the operating budget of the universities equal to that already given to the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) in March, which was a 270% increase,” said the highest authority of the UNCO.

The failure of the national government only creates more uncertainty for the rest of the year. Regarding this situation, Gentile explained: “That money did not arrive, what was going to be made effective in June did not happen, we only received a 140% increase that not only is not enough for us, but also does not allow us to compensate for what we already have in deficit.”

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The increase in electricity and gas rates, together with the removal of subsidies, deepened the crisis. “We went from having a rate of 9 million pesos in April to having a rate of almost 24 million pesos in May. We are waiting to see the rate for June,” the rector explained in an interview with radio Show.

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“It is impossible to pay, first, because we do not have the money and second, because it is a restructuring that the national government has decided to remove the subsidy to educational institutions, which is extremely damaging and the temperatures we are experiencing in Patagonia, it is impossible for teachers, non-teaching staff and students,” he added.

In closing, Gentile commented that, given the financial difficulties and the lack of response from Javier Milei’s administration, they were forced to look for alternatives to alleviate the situation. Thus, they decided to extend the winter break for one more week in all UNCO departments, to generate savings in gas service costs.

With the postponement of the budget for national universities in the House of Representatives, the Comahue University will return from recess without a budget, because what is forecast is a rather complicated scenario. In August, a national plenary of rectors will be held where more firm actions will be defined.

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