Reply of the Greek water movement to Suez

A Press Conference was recently given by Vice President Suez Water Western Europe Ms. Diane D’Arras in Thessaloniki. With this public response the Greek water movement want to refer to what was said in an effort to enhance public debate on the issue.

Dear Diane,

Let us please clarify that what follows is based on what you said and answered during your recent Press Conference in Thessaloniki, as it has been reported by the journalists and media that were present.

Despite the democratic traditions of your home country and in stark contrast to your saying that Suez will definitely take into account the citizens’ public feeling and vision, the fact that no invitation was provisioned for interested citizens and not all interested journalists were invited, can only be judged negatively. It also stood in contrast to your invitation, on behalf of Suez, to elected members of the city council to become Members in the company’s new BoD. One of those present could have asked a clarifying question as to what rights such a membership would mean apart from providing a false feeling of public participation and an implication of transparency. Unfortunately no such question was posed by the reporters in the room, some of which are in the payroll of your partner in the TAIPED (HRADF) tender for the acquisition of the 51% shares of Thessaloniki water Company (EYATH).

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1.8 million Europeans Demand the Right to Water and Sanitation

Brussels, 10 december 2013.

Today on Human Rights Day, the European Water Movement welcomes the submission of 1.8 million signatures to the European Commission, demanding it to “implement the human right to water and sanitation”.

"Right2water" is the first successful European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI). The ECI is a tool which can serve to put an issue on the European agenda, by collecting over 1 million signatures from over seven different Member States.

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Open letter: Extending and upscaling support for innovative non-profit partnerships

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.

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Success of a citizens’ protest

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.

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Civil Society Groups and MEPs call on Companies to Drop Bid for Public Water Company in Greece

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.

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Letter to Thessaloniki water bidders

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.

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