Thessaloniki, 15 july 2014.
Catapult against HRADF (Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund) is the decision of the Athens Court on the injunction application asked by "Citizens Union for the Water", a secondary level Union of Thessaloniki Water Cooperatives, set up by the Initiative K136, to claim the 51% stake in EYATh in the name of the citizens of Thessaloniki.
Three times we asked - via the lawful route - information on the process and criteria by which the HRADF excluded the "Citizens Union for the Water" from the second phase of the tender for the privatization of 51% of EYATh. HRADF flatly refused to give any information or data, arguing that it is "private company" and is not required to give anything. The third time, the Union appealed to the Court of Athens for injunctive relief.
We currently publish this decision by which the Court of Athens requires HRADF give to the Citizens Union for the Water all the requested data, rejecting the complaints on the company's "private law".
Item very interesting in general, is the reported decision of the Court of Justice of the European Communities of 12.19.2013 (Grand Chamber) Case Fish Legal, Emily Shirley vs Information Commissioner, United Utilities Water plc, Yorkshire Water Services Ltd, Southern Water Services Ltd (C-279/12), with President V. Skouris on the "access to environmental information, water and waste treatment corporations and privatization of the sector, where private companies that entrusted by the State administrative tasks fall under conditions on the definition of "public authority" and should also facilitate public access to environmental information (Convention Aarhus, Directive 2003/4/EC). Then these should be ordered the respondent (HRADF) and whoever else is in possession of the documents quoted to demonstrate the applicant (Citizens Union for the Water) ... etc.
The decision - among others - also states that although the Citizens Union for the Water has fulfilled all the conditions imposed, the HRADF reported by letter, quite unjustifiably, that does not meet all the requirements, without specifying what.
The HRADF can not claim to be "private company" any more, can not run at full opacity and is obliged to give all the information requested by the citizens.
After the historic referendum of 18 May 2014 and the Council of State's decision, this is another victory for the citizens against the privatization of water, against HRADF opacity and is creating new legal standards in the broader struggle against the sell-off of public property.
Citizens Union for the Water