TNI and several other NGOs and trade unions have today written to Andris Piebalgs (EU Commissioner for Development) to express concern about the future of EU support for non-profit partnership projects in the water sector in Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. There are indications that the development aid funding that was made available for public-public partnerships a few years ago may be phased out, despite the success of the projects supported so far. The letter calls upon Piebalgs to extend and up-scale such support in the next round of ACP-EU development aid funding.
25 JULY 2013
Civil Society Groups and MEPs call on Companies to Drop Bid for Public Water Company in Greece
Brussels - Over 130 civil society organisations, trade unions and individuals from Greece, Europe and around the world have teamed up with 50 Members of the European Parliament to send a letter to the bidders of the public water company in Thessaloniki urging them to drop their bid.
The group has sent letters to companies including the French multinational Suez Environnement, Greek groups Aktor S.A and Terna Energy S.A as well as the Israeli groups Mekorot and Arison Investment concerning their reported bids for EYATH, the Thessaloniki Water and Sewage Company.
The letter below (drafted together with the movement in Thessaloniki) was sent to the investors and companies that wish to partake in the privatisation of the water company of Thessaloniki. We ask them to withdraw their bid as they are not wanted in Thessaloniki. It is a simple and concrete way in which we can assist the unions, municipalities and social movements in Greece.
To the companies bidding for EYATH, the Thessaloniki Water and Sewage Company
We do not want you in Thessaloniki. Please withdraw your bid.
July 15, 2013, press release from the European Water Movement
Success of a citizens’ protest : The water sector has been withdrawn from the proposal for a directive on the award of concession contracts
Michel Barnier, commissioner of the internal market, on June 26, 2013 has declared that water sector will not be part of the directive on the award of concession contracts in the European Union. This decision is justified by the phrase « water is a commons fundamental for all European citizens », in reference to the European Citizen Initiative (ECI) « water is a human right » which having gathered more than 1.7 million signatures across all European countries has shown that European citizens do not want their water services privatized.
According to an information released by the government of Berlin only a few days ago the French enterprise Veolia has announced its readiness to give up its 25% share in the Berlin Water Company and sell it back to the public sector. This would mean complete remunicipalization of Berlin Water, as Veolia is left as the only private shareholder since last October. The announcement came as a surprise, for up to now Veolia had repeatedly stated its intention to stick to its still ruling influence in the company or at least to retain a minimum share.