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ECJ: utility discriminated against gypsies by making it harder for them to steal electricity

ČEZ is the dominant Czech power utility. More than 50% of the company is state-owned but the remaining stocks are enough to make ČEZ one of the two most intensely traded stocks at the Prague Stock Exchange.

ČEZ owns various power plants and grids in the post-socialist Europe, too. And a complaint in the Bulgarian town of Dupnica/Dupnitsa has led to a rather incredible EU court verdict (see the full judgment here) that has shocked those Czechs who cared.



Because my text would be almost identical to that of Dr George X [not Rachel] Doležal in the Reflex Magazine, I will translate his viewpoint instead.

George X. Doležal: ČEZ has discriminated against the Romani. It didn't let them steal power.

The European Court of Justice has made a groundbreaking verdict against our ČEZ. To steal electricity is, as the judges implicitly state, a democratic right. The provider of power isn't allowed to place any technical hurdles that would prevent the consumer from stealing electricity. If the provider does so, it is discrimination.





What was going on? The story is simple. In the Romani ghetto of the Bulgarian town of Dupnica, it has been a tradition to place electric meters at the top of telegraph poles, to prevent the consumers from reaching them. The reason is that the neighborhood was notorious for its unauthorized meddling with the electric meters and stealing of the power. When the Bulgarian division of ČEZ became the local provider of electricity, it kept this policy. The black off-takes were not only stealing power; they were usually performed in such a dilettantish way that everyone who touched the illegal access lines was threatened. Details were revealed by iDNES.cz, a news server.




A local woman [non-Romani shop owner Anelia/Ivana Nikolova] has sued ČEZ in late 2008. Between 1999 and 2000, she pointed out, ČEZ has installed electric meters on poles of concrete at the height of 6 or 7 meters. The EU's main court has confirmed that this practice was a discrimination and according to the judges, the state is obliged to find a different solution to prevent the theft.

This decision may be understood as a completely groundbreaking one. The right to steal has been promoted above the protection of ownership rights. And the private ownership, the idea that people shall not steal, is a pillar underlying the Western democracy. In spite of that, the court consisting of "sunny" SJWs has decided that it's discrimination when someone prevents thieves from accessing the places where they steal.

As long as the fight of "sunny" SJWs takes the form of the defense of the admission of refugees by a young female intellectual who is dreaming about sex with a two-meter-tall (6-foot-6) African man, everything is alright. But once this degree of the "sunny war" gets projected into the verdict of a court, it means that this civilization of ours has been lost.



LM: BTW 98% of Czechs disagree with the verdict. The comments criticizing the verdict get up to 180-to-0 helpful-vs-unhelpful votes.

Just to explicitly address the logic of the court: It is a discrimination because the height of the electric meters is higher in this Romani neighborhood than it is at other places. However, the actual reason why the neighborhood has seen an enhanced protection against thieves is that the frequency of stealing was (much) higher over there. The policy was designed to fight against thieves, not against gypsies. It's true that most of the thieves are gypsies but this (huge) correlation is not a fault of the utility!

Quite generally, people talking about "discrimination" (as if it were a bad thing) in similar situations are batšit crazy nut jobs. We discriminate against tomatoes when we place milk, but not tomatoes, in the fridge. But it has extremely good reasons to "discriminate". All the decisions that a sane person does in his or her life are examples of "discrimination" of this sort – who doesn't do such things is a worthless, mindless pile of fat. People, objects, events, and situations in the real world differ from each other which is why they demand different reactions.

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