The European Commission’s DG Energy initiated the drafting of a proposal for a directive laying down the requirements for the control of radioactive substances in water intended for human consumption. This proposal, based legally on the EURATOM Treaty (Articles 31 and 32), aims to integrate these requirements into specific legislation, in order to maintain uniformity, coherence and completeness of legislation on the protection against radiation at the EU level. In fact, these provisions supersede those related to the control of radioactive substances in water intended for human consumption of Directive 98/83/EC. It should be noted that currently Directive 98/83/EC does not require frequent monitoring on parameters for radioactivity.
With a general and unsubstantiated cliché that "privatization is an one-way for EYATH” transmitted by the private TV channels - who are the only ones - the Greek government welcomed the news of the retreat of the European Commission and the exclusion of water services from the new Concessions Directive.
After the strong stance of the German public opinion and despite of collusion of the political parties and of course in view of the elections, it seems that the Commission was forced to retreat in the end and to completely exclude water services from the Concessions Directive.
Privatisation and the nature of the state is moving to the centre of the struggle against austerity in Greece. The troika of the three key lenders to Greece – the European Commission, IMF and European Central Bank – is trying to speed up the sell-off of the country’s public goods and resources by putting them in one holding company to be auctioned off in quick succession. The Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (TAIPED), as this company is pompously named, might as well be an auction house advertising an ‘everything must go’ clear out: ‘Greece for sale. Real estate bargains, profitable companies going cheap.’
Resistance to this handover to the corporate market faces a challenge. In 2011 a reputable polling company found that 75 per cent of Greeks believed privatisation was necessary; in 2012 it was down to 62 per cent but still well over half the population – including more than 40 per cent of Syriza voters. These same polls, however, indicate a point of vulnerability for the troika: water, the one issue on which a majority opposes privatisation. And it is on this issue that resistance is beginning to gain momentum as TAIPED announces that bids for the two state-owned water companies will be invited before the summer for sale by October.
The online version on the Source Platform is now available at www.source4youth.org
This initiative has grown a lot since its bases were laid in the World Water Alternative Forum at Marseille and after that, more concretely, in the Blue Pavilion at Rio +20. It was announced at the World Social Forum in Tunis, where many have agreed to contribute to the objectives: Inform, stimulate and support the mobilisation of youth on the social issues related to the right to water.
Providing clean water at relevant quality and quantity is a challenge that regulatory authorities have to face in metropolitan cities that seem to develop at their limits of sustainability. Istanbul strives to face such a challenge for its population of over 10 million, through six surface water resources.
Nearly all of Istanbul’s drinking water (97%) comes from surface water collected in reservoirs. Its most important water sources are the Omerli-Darlik system on the Asian side and the Terkos-Alibeykoy system on the European side. Both systems consist of dams, reservoirs, water treatment plants and pipelines. Many of the reservoirs that supply Istanbul are located within the metropolitan area and are exposed to pollution from settlements without adequate sanitation.