16 June 2020
With two historic, major legal and political decisions (1223/2020 and 1224/2020), the 4th Department of the Council of State ruled unconstitutional the provisions of Law 4389/2016, which transferred the majority (50,003%) of shares of EYDAP and EYATH in the "Hellenic Holdings and Property Company SA" (Superfund).
The State Counselors of the 4th Department of the Council of State unanimously ruled that the allegations of the applicants (EYATH Workers' Union and EYDAP Workers' Federation) on the provisions of Article 191 of Law 4389/2016 are valid. The Supervisory Board of EESYP (Superfund) violates article 28 par. 2 of the Constitution and it is pointed out that according to law 4389/2016 after the transfer of shares in EESYP, the control of EYDAP and EYATH left the Greek State and fell into the hands of the European Commission and the European Stability Mechanism, through their members in the Board of Directors of EESYP.
This decision of the 4th Department of the Council of State (which due to their importance were referred to the Plenary Session of the Supreme Court of Cassation for final judgment) is a huge victory for the workers of EYDAP and EYATH, the citizens and the movements for Public Water. A second victory after the decision 1906/2014 of the Plenary Session of the Council of State that had deemed unconstitutional the transformation of EYDAP into a private company, and forced the transfer of the majority of shares from the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund back to the State.
This decision of the 4th Department of the Council of State is a collapse of the memorandum policy and the governments that implemented it, especially that of SYRIZA, which despite the reactions, proceeded to the inclusion of EYDAP and EYATH in the Superfund by law 4389/2016, with the rotten argument -as proved to the Fourth Department of the Council of State-, “that the control of the two companies remains in the hands of the State, since the Superfund is controlled by the State”. It is worth mentioning here for the record that the legal advisers of then Minister of Finance, Mr. Tsakalotos, but (unfortunately) also Mr. Benisis, CEO of EYDAP appointed by the SYRIZA government, had intervened in the trial in the Court of State against the appeal of the workers of EYDAP and EYATH.
This decision of the 4th Department of the Council of State comes at a time when the government of the New Democracy is attempting to privatize the External Water Supply System. In fact, the Minister of Infrastructure, Mr. Karamanlis (but also the Director of EYDAP, Mr. Sachinis), is currently using the same arguments as those of the then supporters of EYDAP's accession to the Superfund: That EYDAP is allegedly under the control of the State, so the External Water Supply is not privatized when its service is delivered via PPP to individuals.
The public water movement achieves the only victory in the decade against memorandum provisions and checks, putting substantial barriers to any attempts to directly or indirectly privatize public goods and water supply services, "a fundamental human right essential to the full enjoyment of life and all human rights".
Because it proves once again that only the fight that is not given is lost, EYDAP workers and citizens of Athens must continue to be united in the only right path we have set:
- Hands down from External Water Supply
- No PPPs in water cycle management
- Public EYDAP in the service of society without private interests (Superfund, Paulson and others)
Translation of the press release by SEKES-EYDAP