Europoly

PRIVATISATION UNDER THE TROIKA - Since the beginning of the Eurozone crisis, countries have to carry out extensive privatisations in return for the Troika's bailout loans. In Portugal and Greece especially, oligarchs, large corporations and investors are making cheap purchases, hoping for huge profits. So begins a gigantic game of Monopoly. But there is one crucial difference to the family board game: the rules of Europoly already state who will win and who will lose. An instruction manual.

THE GAME

The rules of the Troika

This game started in 2010: He who lends money dictates the rules. He who borrows money must adhere to the rules. Before the euro crisis, it was developing countries in particular which had to learn this from international investors, but with the euro crisis Europe too is now affected. In Portugal and Greece especially, everything the state has to offer is being auctioned off under great time pressure: waterworks, banks, beaches, airports, electricity grids, ports, palaces – even mineral springs. The first chapter highlights gamers, rules and the financing.

Read more...

Eurozone President and Dutch Finance Minister Dijsselbloem suffers crushing defeat in Greek saga

EPSU press communication

Brussels 30 June 2014 - The privatization of the Greek water companies in Athens and Thessaloniki has been frozen. This was the news reported to the General Assembly of the Thessaloniki water company (EYATH) today. Workers representatives cheered the report that the ongoing privatisation of the public company is in direct conflict with a decision of the Council of State which had decreed that the privatization of the Athens water company sought by the Greek government and welcomed by Eurozone President and Dutch Finance minister Dijsselbloem was illegal. The workers, their union and a broad coalition of social movements had already successfully organized a referendum in which 98% of votes cast of nearly 220.000 people said No to the privatization, 18 May 2014.

A statement of the privatization agency HRADF (or Taiped) said that any future decision of HRADF should respect the Greek constitution and the will of the people. Suez and Mekorot have not submitted any bids yet. This is a sign of the uncertain legal nature and unwillingness to engage in a protracted local battle with trade unions, social movements and politicians, all of whom supported the referendum.

Read more...

Critical judgment of Council of State: No to the privatization of EYDAP SA!

The justice cancels the transfer of 34% shares of the EYDAP SA to the HRADF - The judgment of the Council of State for EYDAP is a "pilot" also for EYATh.

No to the privatization of EYDAP, from the plenary of the Council of State; this annulled the government's decision to pass (without consideration) the 34.033% of the share capital (36,245,240 shares) of EYDAP, from the Greek State to the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF).

By Decision No. 1906/2014 Case published two days before the current Euro-elections, the Plenary of the Council of State accepted the request of some Athens citizens for EYDAP. With this decision, -which is the "pilot" for the privatization of EYATh-, considered that the conversion of EYDAP in private company is contrary to Articles 5 and 21 of the Constitution, which require the attention of state for public health, and also ensures the right to health protection.

Read more...

Water concessions detriment to the public good

Statement by The National Union of Local and Regional Government Workers (STAL)

Portuguese Court of Auditors uncovers profiteering in the water sector

An investigation by the Court of Auditors has uncovered the true consequences of private management of the water sector: private companies pocket hefty profits whilst residents and local authorities are left to pick up the bill.

A report published on 27th February by the Portuguese Court of Auditors into Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in the water sector vindicates STAL’s ongoing struggle to expose the consequences of privatising public services in the water and sanitation sector. It shows how detrimental these deals are both for local authorities and ordinary citizens, who are forced to pay all the costs whilst private companies pocket hefty profits.

Read more...

Manifesto for the Commons in the European Union

Common goods are universal: they belong to everyone and they must not be monopolised by private interests. European Institutions, as guarantors of fundamental civil liberties, peace, cultural diversity and the rule of law, must ensure respect for, and the preservation of, these common goods.

Common goods, by definition, belong to the community. Water, the quintessential common good, should not be privatized or commoditised. Nor should this be the case with education and health. They ought not to be treated as commodities, but rather us our common heritage, protected and enriched by the community.

In a context of crisis and austerity, where privatisation is often encouraged, a political approach based on respect for common goods represents an opportunity to establish a new democratic project for European society, one based on citizen participation, respect for fundamental rights and cultural, moral and intellectual development.

Read more...

Right2Water urges privatisation ban in first EU Citizens’ Initiative debate

Organisers of the “Right2Water” campaign urged the EU Commission to guarantee access to water and sanitation as a human right, and give a legal undertaking that water services will not be liberalised in the EU, in the first European Parliament debate on a European Citizens’ Initiative in Parliament on Monday. MEPs shared the view that access to water is a basic human right, but some pointed out that rules on providing drinkable water remain the remit of EU member states.

The hearing, organised by the Environment Committee, in association with Development, Internal Market and Petitions committees, brought together representatives of the “Right2Water” Citizens Committee, MEPs and the European Commission, which will draft a response to the initiative by 20 March.

“Parliament recognised that water is a shared resource of humankind and a public good and that access to water should constitute a fundamental and universal right in its the resolution of 3 July 2012 on the implementation of EU water legislation”, but “We need to do more to foster the participation of all actors of our society to make sure that the protection of water resources and of drinking water in particular is reflected into all our policies” said Environment Committee chair Matthias Groote (S&D, DE).

Read more...