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.
Now, there are talks going on between Berlin’s Senat and Veolia on the terms of the sale about which nothing is yet known in public.
We do think that these developments would not have come about without our protests which have been going on for years and have been proving effective in various respects.
Now we demand that the government of Berlin will not again waste the money of its citizens and will buy back the private shares at a price really adequate to the present state of affairs.
We also demand that there will be adequate participation of stakeholders: employees of the Berlin Water Company itself as well as representatives of the citizens.
Complete remunicipalization has been the aim of Berliner Wassertisch ever since 2006. The Water Company must come into public property once more for its economic and ecological restructuring. Water may not any longer remain a commodity, but must once again become a commons: its price should cover the cost, but must not yield profits.
Berlin Water policy must be restructured so that there is sufficient influential participation of stakeholders. There must be rule of transparence and democracy.