SaveGreekWater has participated in the 2-day work meetings of the event «Fighting for Water Democracy in the EU following the right2water ECI» organised in the European Parliament by the Independent MEP Sofia Sakorafa with the support and presence of MEP Lynn Boylan from Ireland, MEP Stefan Eck from Germany and MEP Joao Pimenta Lopez from Portugal. In the context of this event and as part of its actions in tackling water privatization in Greece, SaveGreekWater announced the deposition of an official request to the European Council for disclosing any information relevant to the transfer of water services at the new privatization superfund (H.C.A.P.) dated after the 1906/2014 decision of Greece’s Council of State which had judged as unconstitutional the privatization of water services either by stock percentage or by management privatization. According to European Law, the European Council is obliged to answer to this request in 15 days. It is worth noting that any pressure to privatize water is in violation of the article 345 of the EU Treaty and it is furthermore contrary to the suggestions of the European Parliament’s resolution that urges the European Commission not to push the countries under financial programs as to this matter.
Press release - December 11th, 2016
The municipality of Mafra, which was the first municipality to privatize water and sanitation services in Portugal, makes it precisely 22 years ago, decided on last 9th od december, unanimously, to terminate the concession agreement with Be Water.
The decision was taken after the private operator submitted a request for tariff increases of 30 percent, which was considered "unacceptable,", said the municipality in a statement.
In order to carry out the redemption of the concession, the municipality promoted an economic-financial and legal study, concluding that full municipal management of services will reduce tariffs by up to five percent, and therefore, instead of a worsening, domestic consumers may benefit from a reduction in the water prices.
After the voting of the transfer of EYDAP and EYATH to the Superfund which was established under L. 4389/2016 the two major Greek water services are privatized in violation of the Constitution, despite the reassurances to the contrary.
The European Water Movement asked associations and collectives, who acted for the return of public management of their local water services, to describe the citizens' participation mechanisms in service management (implemented, being implemented or desired mecanisms), and to analyze their strengths and weaknesses. In this article,the association Eau Secours 34 presents the case of Montpellier.
Until 2016, France had about 34 000 water and sanitation services. Territorial reforms passed in 2014 and 2015, will divide them by 10. With 3500 to 4000 significantly larger services, serving from 15 000 to hundreds of thousands of users, the question of citizens' participation will become even more fundamental since users will further away from decision centers. Therefore, there is a risk of citizens' participation dilution in a context that will also be characterized by the implementation of the Directive on the award of concession contracts.
Dear Mr. Kevin Duffy,
The European Water movement is an open, inclusive and pluralistic network of movements, social organizations, committees and trade unions at the European level that aims to reinforce the recognition of water as a commons and access to water and sanitation as a fundamental universal right, an essential element for all living beings. In that sense, the members of the European Water Movement have followed quite closely the debate about water charges in Ireland. We are deeply worried about how the Troika has imposed rules that threaten the Human Right to Water and Sanitation and that lead to privatise water management across Europe. Therefore, we would like to share with you some reflexions.
We welcome the creation of the independent Commission in Ireland and we wish more similar efforts will be made at the European level.