Around 10 percent of Spain’s population cannot afford to heat their homes. Over 7,000 people die from the cold each year in a Spain that si most known by Norwegians as being a warm country.
While many Norwegians travel to Spain in the winter to escape the cold in Norway, over 4 million Spaniards have problems with heating up their apartments properly, according to the Spanish Statistical Office.
Many have to do without light, heat and hot water, or reduce their use because they cannot afford to pay the power or gas bill.
Earlier this month, 81-year-old Rosa became nationally known-because she died in a fire. The reason was that she used candles as a light source because the energy company had cut off the gas supply.
-It’s tough in the winter. We have only one electric oven, and we rarely turn it on because we fear the bill, said 48 year-old Pedro Martinez.
He has been unemployed since 2013 and has in recent years lived on a pension and some compensation from his former employer.
-The cold goes into your bones. We wear outdoorwear inside and use all the carpets we have, he said.
Heat is a luxury
Tere Bermudez from the charity Caritas says that warm water, light and gas is a luxury for many families.
According to the European Commission, Spain’s gas and electric prices were among the highest in the European Union last year.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today