Timisoara is the first city to have public electric lighting in Europe. It happened in November 1884. Timisoara was, at that time, a city whose citizens enjoyed the best a municipality could offer.
Fast forward, 137 years later, the citizens of Timisoara are left to freeze in their apartments. Not only do they have to endure the freezing temperatures in their apartments, or even in the hospitals, but they don’t even have running hot water. The situation is critical, but the municipality has no medium or long-term solutions to help the residents pass the winter.
It is the worst-case scenario for 300,000 souls living in the beautiful city of Western Romania. This happened because the historic debt of the municipal heating company exceeds 60 million Euros. Of course, this didn’t happen overnight, and the city’s previous and current administration had plenty of time to find the proper solution. Yet, the situation is as described.
One man already died in the city from using alternative means of heating the apartment and, if the situation continues, more cases will be confirmed in the weeks to come. People use their AC on heat and their gas cookers to heat their rooms during the night.
The Mayor of Timisoara, Dominic Fritz, won the mayorship in 2020 following the will of the citizens for a change. His citizenship, German, helped him a lot from this perspective. He only proved that, German or not, he couldn’t solve the city’s problems.
He announced there should be a compromise and the heating company would provide heat during the night. So far, the announcement wasn’t followed by any action, and the citizens continued freezing inside their homes.