The “previous matches” of the water service are illegitimate. The Supreme Court says this with a sentence that could affect the outcome of the disputes opened on the island against Abbanoa on late adjustments charged to consumers. For the Supreme Court to demand payment of these amounts to recover past losses is unlawful and in violation of the principle of non-retroactivity. “An epochal ruling,” says Monica Satolli, regional manager of the National Consumers Union. “A sentence that will make jurisprudence”, reiterates Giorgio Vargiu of Adiconsum. “A window is also opened for the more than 700 thousand Sardinian users”, explains Satolli, “on the amounts in the bill under the items” previous matches “, not high but harmful because they force you to pay tariff adjustments that are due to the operators for the period prior to transfer of the competences of the integrated water service to Aeegsi ». Therefore Unc is certain of the right to reimbursement of consumers to whom it suggests, as of now, “to request the return to Abbanoa of the amount paid in recent years”. Whoever hasn’t done it, “don’t do it.”
The verdict, although it is valid only in the lawsuit between the citizen of La Spezia who brought it and his water authority, is a beacon for the disputes underway in many regions. “For the Arera sector authority, which has the bad habit of making retroactive changes also in other sectors, it is a cul-de-sac”, says Vargiu, “it is a confirmation of the more than 400 judgments of varying degrees on the Abbanoa balances, all but one consumer-friendly. Furthermore, if these adjustments, equal to 109 million euros, are not due, there is a need for the budget to be remedied, in order not to create damage to the company. We are now waiting for the sentence of the Nuoro court where we presented an injunction to stop the company’s improper behavior ».
The reactions to the sentence of the Supreme Court arrive on the eve of the Abbanoa shareholders’ meeting, convened for today in Cagliari, for the approval of the financial statements. A meeting that, according to some rumors, could skip at the last minute or be open and then be updated on another date. In reality, the partners, at least the Region (the commissioner Quirico Sanna) and the Municipality of Cagliari (the mayor Paolo Truzzu) ensure that it will be carried out, despite the request for postponement made by Egas yesterday evening precisely in the light of the sentence of the Supreme Court and of the need for further investigation, while reiterating that “the judgments of the Court, although they may constitute a precedent in jurisprudence, produce effects limited only to end users who have filed an appeal”. For its part, the company clarifies that “the sentence does not concern Abbanoa, but Acam” and that “the regulatory adjustments are governed by Arera and Egas, a government body within Sardinia”. Who reiterated yesterday «the correctness of the manager’s work» reserving the right to carry out further investigations on the outcome of which he will inform Abbanoa.
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