11 items tagged "Italy"

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Turin: The long march towards water remunicipalisation

Category: Country & City Focus
Created on Wednesday, 24 January 2018 14:13

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

Category: Country & City Focus
Created on Monday, 09 October 2017 08:22

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.

May 17th: Stop austerity! Stop privatizations!

Category: Agenda
Created on Wednesday, 07 May 2014 13:37

Water, land, income, house, jobs, commons, social rights and democracy in Italy and Europe

Call for the construction of a nationalwide demonstration
in Rome (Italy) on May 17th

A new era in privatization of the commons, in attacks against our social rights and democracy is beginning.

The extraordinary victory achieved at 2011 water referendum shows that consent to a “private is better” ideology has ended and the multitude of open conflicts dealing with the defence of commons and local territories suggests the possibility and the urgency of a new social model. But crisis, built on the trap of public debt, is proposing again the ideology of “private is compulsory and indispensable” in a strong and fierce way.

Public water and participation win in Lazio

Category: Country & City Focus
Created on Tuesday, 18 March 2014 19:39

The first law in Italy for a public and participative management of the water, presented by citizens and municipalities, has been approved

After the formidable outcome of the June 2011 national referendum, following a two years process connected with practices experienced by commettees and several municipalities of Lazio, after pressing for 12 months the Regional Government, today, March 17, at last, the Popular Law proposal nr 31 for the public and participative management of the water services of Lazio Region has been approved unanimously.

This law aknowledges the referendum result, starting from the definition of water service as a service of general interest not subject to profit-making purpose, up to the allocation of a fund aimed to support the remunicipalization of present services. This law, at last, reinstates the central role of the local authorities, by outlining the optimal territorial districts on the basis of the hydrographic basins and making it possible for the municipalities to form consortiums and to commit the service also to public subjects, assuring in the meantime the participation of the local communities in the management of this essential good, also with respect to the future generations.

Summary of the remunicipalization of the water service in Italia

Category: Country & City Focus
Created on Wednesday, 27 November 2013 22:25

What happened after the water referendum in Italy?

After the referendum victory, a tenacious battle for its application and the remunicipalization of the water service was initiated.

The Constitutional Court judgement 199/2012 (July 20, 2012)

On August 13 2011, the Berlusconi government approved the Decree Law 138/2011, which substantially reintroduced the same rules that the referendum had repealed. One year later, the Constitutional Court cancelled this Decree Law as unconstitutional.

Attempt to subject "Aziende speciali" (public bodies managing services of general interest) and "in-house S.p.A." (public joint stock companies) to the internal stability pact. As is evident, forcing public bodies to respect the Stability Pact means to greatly reduce their possibility to invest in the service and therefore encouraging the process of privatization.

Umbria: Hundreds of self-reduced water bills!

Category: Country & City Focus
Created on Sunday, 10 November 2013 14:47

Two years after the referendum of 12 and 13 June 2011 in Italy, hundreds of water and sanitation service users from the Umbrian Region took the initiative to self-reduce their water bills, cutting out the abhorred Invested Capital Return (ICR), the private operator’s share of profits guaranteed by law but repealed by the referendum. The referendum victory in June 2011 gave the Comitato Umbro Acqua Pubblica an extra weapon to fight against the privatization of water!

The Comitato Umbro Acqua Pubblica was first created in 2006, to support the Comitato Tutela Rio Fergia of Boschetto[1], a committee mobilized against Rochetta Spa, the multinational which bottles water from the Umbrian Apennines, exhausting groundwater, drying local torrents and jeopardizing a good part of regional water resources. If this was the starting point, mobilizing against the privatization of the SII[2], has became a natural consequence.

Hands off ABC Napoli !

Category: Country & City Focus
Created on Tuesday, 29 October 2013 15:41

In January this year, the transformation of ARIN S.p.a[1] into ABC Napoli[2] was concluded, ending a cycle of struggles which started 10 years ago, when the resolution of 23 November, 2004 allowed the private sector to manage the integrated water services of the entire ATO2 district in Southern Italy (comprising 136 communes from the provinces of Naples and Caserta in the Campania region).

The committees of Naples and Caserta, the public water committees together with a widespread citizen movement fought and obtained the withdrawal of the resolution. Since then we have repeatedly asked the Municipal Administration of Naples to start the transformation of the corporation into a special public company in order to eliminate the pursuit of profit and the potential sale of ARIN shares to the private. What the former Municipal Council under Mayor Iervolino and Budget Councilor Realfonzo were unable to achieve after the referendum victory, now became possible and the present Council (Mayor De Magistris and Branch Councilor Lucarelli) put in place the transformation. Naples is the first city in Italy to have re-municipalized its water service.

Running water in Aprilia: Deeds and Misdeeds

Category: Country & City Focus
Created on Thursday, 17 October 2013 20:15

Deeds and Misdeeds
Running water in Aprilia: a never-ending course of justice

In this thriving town in Southern Latium (ATO4 district), the privatization of water and water services drove the local people to exasperation when they were unexpectedly hit by a 50% to 330% increase in their water bills. The reaction was instantaneous: a committee was established to protect the most valuable resource of all and a strategy to oppose this form of looting was defined. A harsh battle began, and is still going on, marked by many ups and downs. The moral of the story is that unity and participation are better weapons than intimidation, no matter what form it takes or where it comes from.

Reggio Emilia city towards re-municipalisation of water

Category: Country & City Focus
Created on Friday, 25 January 2013 10:01

Monday, December 17th, the City Council of Reggio Emilia has approved a statement that bring the emilian town near the re-municipalisation of the water service and represents another example for the rest of Italy.

In fact, the popular initiative motion submitted by the Reggio Emilia Water Common Good Committee, even voted by a majority of the City Council (PD, Democratic Party, SEL, Left, Ecology and Liberty) and a part of the minority (M5S, Five Stars Movement and former Lega Nord people), with no votes against, point out to the need to go out from the multi-utility enterprise IREN and identifies the managing body in a “public law special company”.

Report from the National Assembly of The Italian Forum for Water Movements

Category: Country & City Focus
Created on Friday, 14 December 2012 19:52

Rome, 24-25 November 2012.

The Italian Forum for Water Movements held its national assembly a year and a half after its extraordinary referendum victory.

The discussion began with an analysis of this intense year, marked by repeated attacks from all levels at the outcome of the referendum, which expressed the will of 26 million people.

It was agreed that it was a year of strong resistance by the movement for water, which promoted local and national initiatives for the remunicipalisation of water services, a campaign for civil obedience and mobilizations against the consolidation of large multi-utilities. A year, that has demonstrated the persistence of local grassroots building and the political subjectivity of the movement as well as a reinforcement of the reasons behind the referendum victory.

The Italian Constitutional Court Blocks the Privatization of Water

Category: News from the Ground
Created on Wednesday, 22 August 2012 14:53

Big victory for the movements, the Constitutional Court blocks the privatization of water and local public services.

Today, 20th July, the Constitutional Court has given back the voice of the Italian citizens and the democracy of our country.

It does so by declaring unconstitutional, therefore inadmissible, Article 4 of the Decree Law 138 of August 13, 2011, by which, the Berlusconi government, stomped on the referendum result and re-introduced the privatization of local public services. This ruling also blocks all subsequent amendments, including those of the Monti government.

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