THE socialists on the Palma city council have slammed Emaya, the water board, for ending 2004 with a profit of 7.7 million euros on the water service, because of “abusive prices.” Spokeswoman Maria Rosa Marques said it was “immoral and shameful” that the company should be making money from the taxpayers, and should be increasing its profits every year, as water is charged “at a price which is way above its real cost.” She claimed that consumers receive no incentive to save water and there are no penalties for excessive consumption.
She pointed out that Emaya justified a price rise last year by saying it had to purchase a lot of water to ensure supplies, but in the event, the purchases were 17 per cent less than expected. Even so, she went on, this did not stop Emaya from increasing its rates again this year.
It was not just the water charges which came under fire. Marques also claimed that despite its profits, there are still staff shortages and “15 per cent of the street cleaning routes are not covered.” She said that the PSOE (Spanish Socialist Workers Party) would vote against the company's accounts which will be analysed at Emaya's next general meeting. Emaya says that water supplies are guaranteed, but that people should make more of an effort to save water. Measures recommended include showering instead of having a bath and not letting water run when cleaning your teeth.

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