Declaration of organizations and movements for the co-operative management of the Thessaloniki water by citizens


Citizens of Thessaloniki,

now that the processes of water privatization (EYATH, EYDAP) are moving again,
now that it was clearly perceived the illusion that the assignment of our affairs to third parties (parties, governments and all kinds of power) can provide solutions for the benefit of citizens,
now it's time for us all to realize that if we do not get the citizens themselves the management of the water in our hands, no one will save us!


After 25 years the water management in Rostock returns into public hands

In Rostock, the largest city in the north German state Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the municipal company Nordwasser GmbH will take over the water supply and wastewater disposal for Rostock and 28 surrounding communities from 1 July 2018. This means that after 25 years the Rostock water management returns from a public-private operator model into the hands of the local authorities.

The municipal company Nordwasser GmbH replaces the long-standing private operator EURAWASSER Nord GmbH.

Nordwasser GmbH was founded in spring 2015 after the decision of the Hanseatic city of Rostock not to extend the operating agreement with EURAWASSER Nord, which expires in mid-2018. The private company EURAWASSER Nord is belonging to the multinational REMONDIS Group.

According to Christa Hecht (Allianz der Öffentlichen Wasserwirtschaft) in the book Our public water future, "The municipalities have decried the lack of transparency and their inability to influence the private operator. Compared to other cities, prices are roughly 20 per cent higher, but this does not translate into higher quality".

Press release of Nordwasser GmbH

Update of the Greek Water situation

Thessaloniki, 24th of January 2018

On 15th January, the Greek parliament voted a law to pass the 3rd evaluation of the Troika. Among others, the law includes the transfer of water companies (51%) straight to the Superfund. When the Superfund was created, the idea was that all public companies would be transferred to a holding company which would be a subsidiary of the Superfund. In fact, the new scenario is worse than the previous one.

Just a day after the vote in parliament, TAIPED (HRADF) announced the update of its privatization projects, among them 24% of EYATH (water company of Thessaloniki) and 11% of EYDAP (water company of Athens). Since the 3rd memorandum, they had been talking about selling 23% of EYATH; which now has become 24%, leaving the public with only 50% + one shares.

In September 2016, the Union of EYATH workers sued the Supreme Court for the creation of the Superfund and the transfer of EYATH to it. This case will be judged by the end of February. Now we are researching whether the 2016 action to sue is consistent with the transfer that will take place on 15th January or whether we need a new one!


Turin: The long march towards water remunicipalisation

On 9 October 2017, the Turin City Council turned back privatisation and took another step towards the remunicipalisation of its metropolitan water system. And so the city entered the next phase of its long march towards water sovereignty, begun in the aftermath of the Second World War on the ruins of a town half-destroyed by allied bombing and by Nazi/Fascist retaliations against the democratic popular resistance.

A performing and profitable public water system (1945-1990)

In 1945, a large part of the Turin's civic aqueduct had to be reconstructed. Today, some of the water pipelines dating back to that period are still in operation. From 1945 to 1990, the Turin Water Service was directly owned and operated by a department of the Turin municipality. During this long period, water and sewage systems were implemented and modernised to keep pace with the growth of the city from 700,000 to 1.2 million inhabitants. The first Italian sewage treatment plant was also created during this time to serve Turin and its Metropolitan Area; it remains the most advanced and efficient plant in the country. Of course, the highly performing, profitable and publicly managed water system of Turin was highly coveted by private companies. They lobbied national governments (both centre-right and left) and gradually obtained laws and regulations supporting the privatisation of national and local public services.


Remunicipalization of water in Turin

Six years later, the Turin City Council finally acted according to the popular will expressed by the referendum against privatization of 2011.

On Monday 9 October 2017, the 5Stelle group, "Torino in Comune" and "Direzione Italia" voted for the transformation of the water company SMAT S.p.A. into Azienda Speciale of public law.

After Naples, Turin is the second largest city in Italy to remunicipalize its water. From today begins the countdown of the setup of the Azienda Speciale that will also integrate the 40 municipalities of the metropolitan area. This process will officially end in April 2018.