USAID is joining Germans' effort to privatize electricity production. Since the 1960s, STEG has been developing energy infrastructure/providing affordable electricity across the country w/our following a capitalistic logic. Marketization is making electricity unaffordable.
Instead of encouraging the use of STEG’s HR and large-scale production capacity to invest in a cost-efficient way in renewable energy, foreign/local actors connected to private interests, are inhibiting its potential and relying on small/weak companies to take the lead.
Since the IMF forced the Central Bank to stop funding state owned companies, STEG is having difficulties to expand and switch to renewables. Local family-owned banks are exploiting this situation by imposing high interest rates on STEG leading to the erosion of its resources.
STEG borrows also from foreign banks to pay new electricity plants. With the voluntary depreciation of the TND encouraged by the IMF, paying back loans, importing gas from abroad and buying hydrocarbons from #Tunisia-based foreign companies in $/€ is becoming expensive.
Instead of explaining the reasons why governmental policies led to the expansion of STEG deficit, neoliberal experts connected to the private sector are accusing STEG of being "mismanaged" and calling for its privatization or its transformation to a simple "regulatory agency".
Meanwhile, Americans and Europeans (especially Germans) are hypocritically using a pro-renewables rhetoric to push for privatization/marketization of electricity production.
Europeans would like to see renewables (especially solar) developed in North Africa so they can import energy from us instead of Russia. However, they don’t want to become dependent from North Africa state-owned producers. That’s why they want they are encouraging privatization.
Even the "democracy promotion industry" ( @NDI specifically) is interested in knowing Tunisians’ argument for/against privatization of STEG, as well as other state-owned companies.
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