Mohamed Chairi and his two year old son Badder change a butane gas bottle during an interview with AFP at their home in Badalona on November 21, 2016. AFP / LLUIS GENE
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Pedro and Mohammad await every utility bill with much angst.Last year, according to Spain's National Statistics Institute, 10.6 percent of Spaniards were unable to properly heat their homes – or more than 4 million people – compared to just 5.9 percent in 2008, when an economic crisis kicked off.Tere Bermudez, spokeswoman for the Roman Catholic charity Caritas, says that "for many families, water, light and gas are luxury items". She says that from 2007 to 2015, the organization multiplied by 30 the number of utility bills it helped pay.According to the European Commission, Spain's gas and electricity prices were the third- and fourth-highest respectively in the European Union last year.Lopez estimates that approximately 7,100 people die every year due to fuel poverty.Spain may be emerging from the crisis, but at least 600,000 households saw their electricity supply cut off last year, according to the Facua consumer association.
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