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.
Amsterdam/Brussels/Ottawa, May 6th. – The proposed Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the European Union (EU) and Canada would grant energy companies far-reaching rights to challenge bans and regulations of environmentally damaging shale gas development (fracking), a new briefing by Corporate Europe Observatory, The Council of Canadians and the Transnational Institute shows.
As Canadian negotiators visit Brussels this week to move the CETA negotiations further towards conclusion, “The right to say no” warns the proposed investment protection clauses in the agreement would jeopardise governments’ ability to regulate or ban fracking.
WATER IS A RIGHT, NOT A COMMODITY SAY MEPS
Water is a 'common good' and not a commodity that can be bought and sold, an event in parliament has heard.
The discussion looked at the issue of access to water in Europe, and came ahead of UN world water day on 22 March, which is focused on 'water cooperation'.
The European Crisis will be exacerbated by a privatisation of public services.
With great concern and support for the common project of a united Europe, we do not only follow the Euro-crisis but also the austerity conditionalities imposed by the EU, ECB and IMF on countries such as Greece. In particular, the commissioned privatisation of public goods, amongst them the water services, will not be favourable to the reconciliation of the Greek economy and will at best lead to a short-term decrease of debts. This is contrasted by the sell-off of core elements of public services which, with good reason, both in our constitution and in several EU treaties is given a high status. The federal government has stressed this elevated status of (German) water services in opposition to the European Commission’s strive towards liberalisation and privatisation more than once.
Immediate was the response of the employees union of EYATH after yesterday’s announcement by Mr Athanasopoulos of TAIPED of the sale of 51 percent of EYATH till October 2013.We remind here, that from 1999 until today during the semi-privatization of the company, the number of employees decreased from 700 to 265 while for a 2,330 km network and 510,000 water meters the company employs 11 plumbers!. As for the invoices there were increases of up to 300 percent.
Brussels, 17th October 2012 – The European Commission is deliberately promoting privatization of water services as one of the conditions being imposed as part of bailouts, it acknowledged in a letter to civil society groups on 26 September 2012. EU Commissioner Olli Rehn's directorate was responding to questions posed in an open letter concerning the European Commission’s role in imposing privatisation through the Troika in Greece, Portugal and other countries. The civil society groups have today written to Commissioner Rehn to demand that he stop “any further pressure to impose water privatisation conditionalities”.