How Puerto Rico is being left behind in the fight against Zika virus
Puerto Rico has been left with no options to control the spread of the virus and is struggling to get essential services such as drinking water and electricity.
Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro García Padilla announced the plan to end the island’s contract with an international consortium on Tuesday.
Puerto Rican President Sergio Garcia Padilla, right, meets with the President of the European Commission in Brussels on Oct. 1.
President Sergio García Pineda García, center, and other members of the Government of Puerto Rico meet with the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, on Oct 12, 2018.
The deal between the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority and the European Union came in 2018 after months of negotiations between the two sides.
The contract will be phased out by 2022, leaving only three years of service to remain in place.
Puerto Ricans have already been forced to cut down trees and other vegetation to clear their roads of the Zika virus.
Pinedas administration says the plan will help the island to recover from the pandemic.
The plan calls for the island and its territories to switch to a system that would require power companies to deliver electricity to the island through transmission lines.
Power will also be needed for the city of Vieques, Puerto Rico’s largest city.
The government has proposed to pay $10 million in compensation for each household with electricity bills higher than $20 per month.
That will be paid by a Puerto Rican power company that was given $2.5 billion in bailout money.
García said the contract was meant to allow Puerto Rico to remain independent from outside power providers.
“I hope this will provide the energy for the recovery process,” García told reporters.
“But I also hope that it is the beginning of a dialogue and a way for us to reach out to the European Community.”
García is a close ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has made the case that the EU needs Puerto Rico.
Garcia, who is an outspoken critic of Trump, has said he is ready to work with the Trump administration on an agreement to stabilize the island.